The Supreme Court today ruled in favour of UKIP over a case of party donations.
Between December 2004 and February 2006, Alan Bown, a retired businessman had donated a total of £349,216 to the party. During that time, due to an oversight Mr Bown was not on the UK electoral register which, under the law suggested that he was not a British resident. This was obviously not the case.
UKIP had argued that the forfeit should amount to £14,481 donated after the party became aware of the oversight, as did the initial Court ruling. The Electoral Commission believed that the whole sum should be forfeit.
In a 4-3 judgement the Supreme Court found that the spirit of the law counted more than the letter.
Speaking after the judgement Alan Bown said,
"I am pleased and relieved that this is all over. I feel no animosity towards the Electoral Commission, we understand they have a job to do. I always had confidence that British Justice would play fair. Now I have evidence that this is the case. Now intend to launch a UKIP membership drive, through a concerted leafleting campaign".
Lord Pearson, the UKIP leader said,
"We are delighted with the result. We can now concentrate on our job... working towards Britain leaving the European Union".
The Supreme Court Press Summary
Alan Bown says he bears no ill will towards the Electoral Commission. He may not do, but this case raises some serious questions about their operations and how they reach their judgements. It will be interesting to see what they say in response to this judgement.
Just by way of background, Mr Bown donated a six figure some to UKIP. It was then found that his local authority had left him off the electoral register, despite the fact he had been on it in previous years. Technically, therefore the donation wasn't legal.
I have previosuly written about this case HERE and HERE.