The Conservative Party's "New Direction" think tank has been launched, led by MEP Geoffrey Van Orden and supported by Margaret Thatcher. The hundreds of thousands of pounds going into the think tank come from a pot of EU money for those in pan-European parties, and has provoked some debate within UKIP.
Both arguments have some credence. Some within UKIP say that joining a pan-European Party would be evidence of UKIP complying with the EU's desire of eventually wanting pan-European lists of candidates and parties. The counter-arguments are in my mind stronger though. The pot of money available for these think tanks remains the same whether UKIP go for any of it or not. So effectively, if UKIP don't get stuck in, then more funding will go to those who will be spending it to promote pro-EU messages.
It is a similar question in my eyes to the one of whether UKIP constructively engages with the EU process by taking seats in the European Parliament. That move has undoubtedly helped the Party massively. Could taking a further slice of the EU's budget - which is of course European and British taxpayer's money - to spend on promoting the case of EU withdrawal, be a good thing for the Party and cause? I don't see why not.