Tuesday, October 27, 2009

UKIP Stares into a Financial Abyss

UKIP has been denied the right to appeal to the Supreme Court over the £363,000 fine over the illegal donation by Alan Bown. It seems astonishing that the Court of Appeal would make this decision. UKIP must now make a direct appeal to the Supreme Court or face financial ruin. I say this with no relish at all, as the punishment in this case does not fit the crime. If a UKIPballs type rescue fund is set up, I suspect a lot of non UKIP voters will put their hands in their pockets.

As Michael Crick has blogged, the LibDems will also be shifting uneasily in their seats at this decision, as it could them next. They face having to pay back £2.4 million over the donation from convicted fraudster Michael Brown.


David Boothroyd said...

I have heard unofficially that the Liberal Democrats have made arrangements to find a spare £2.4m if they need to. Unable to confirm the veracity of this rumour nor to say from where it would be found.

Anonymous said...

"They face having to pay back £2.4 million over the donation from convicted fraudster Michael Brown."

No they don't.

They (LDs) cleared it before use, following a mistake, and carried out due diligence before accepting it.

UKIP decided they didn't need to.

Welsh Nationalist said...

Let them go to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg or the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, I say. What fun!

Ray said...

Not even spell check would have spotted that !

Not a sheep said...

This is an odd state of affairs, the only party to benefit from a bankrupt UKIP would be the Conservatives and so you would have thought that the Labour establishment would do all they can to increase the effectiveness of UKIP not decrease it...

Sir Inglegram said...

I'm not a UKIP supporter, but this whole thing is absolutely bloody ridiculous and totally unjust. The people who make the laws in this country are absolute total scumbags.

Nor am I a BNP supporter. But conventional politicians wonder why everybody hates them. And I mean hate them. Really really hate them. Which is why people are voting for the BNP: out of desperation: anything but the existing lot.

The existing lot should be summarily shot. Every man Jack of them.

Bryan Dunleavy said...

They could also be staring into a financial abyss!

Steve said...

Put me down for £100 to help UKIP beat this ruling class stitch up. The whole establishment and press uses every ounce of their awesome power to squelch any party which tries to represent the views of the silent majority. Come on the rest of you - dig deep!

What a stitch-up said...

If UKIP goes to the wall, then Cameron had better come out with something convincing on the EU or else the only serious contender is going to be Griffin's mob. Why them? It is because the EU is such an overarching threat anything that gets us out of its clutches is worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

Surely the UKIP members who want to be MPs would just stand as individual Independent UKIP candidates? No party needed?

Mirtha Tidville said...

Would this be the same Court of Appeal who have just ruled an indeterminate sentence too harsh for someone who stood by and watched a child be battered to death (baby P) and then make this pronouncement....not only is the law an ass but is made so by those tossers who purport to administer it....

Sadly I`m old enough to remember a time when the Judiciary and the Executive were independant....Judge Tom Denning anyone....

James Mackenzie said...

The Lib Dems' offence is clearly much worse - I agree, they'll be shaking in their yellow boots at this.

Madame Dale said...

Not such a bad few days for Griffin after all then...

Victor, NW Kent said...

What a Farago. Does this mean that the Speaker is safe from being opposed?

Anonymous said...

Maybe there is a silver lining.

A poster above suggested that the Conservatives will be the greatest beneficiaries of UKIP's demise, but I beg to differ. The Conservatives may gain a few tens of thousands of votes which will be a tiny fraction of their overall support. However, a dying UKIP with its anti-EU following will surely give birth to many more BNP voters, and the gain will effectively be magnified many times as the existing BNP voter base is a relatively small number.

I am currently a fully paid up UKIP member, but I've been increasingly concerned that the shared anti-EU vote with the BNP effectively hands us all on a plate to Europe.

It's unfortunate if my party, UKIP, might be killed off just as the BNP is hitting the big time, but we will have to look to the common purpose, hold our noses, and vote for the BNP.

And before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, the chance of the BNP getting enough votes to begin deporting immigrants is zero. The chance they might get enough seats to upset Cameron and force the Tory-lite party to start acting like true Conservatives is much more likely.

This is what I will most likely vote for next spring. I wonder how many have the balls to join me?

Jabba the Cat said...

Looks like Farage and his band of pygmies are getting their comeuppance.

Anonymous said...

I knew this days ago.
It suddenly clicked why Farage had legged it as leader.
It's on a comment page somewhere between Sky,here or CH.

Mark Senior said...

Irrespective of the fate of the £ 363,000 UKIP are not facing financial ruin . The Conservatives chug along quite nicely technically insolvent £ 7.75 million in debt and Labour even more so .

Anonymous said...

On reflection - and however much it pains me - I believe the Lib-Dems are innocent and UKIP guilty.

The Lib-Dems checked that the donating company was trading in the UK and did everything expected of them to prove the donation was legal. UKIP did not check that their donor was on the electoral register - the most basic of errors - and that is where they fall down.

The rules are clear. UKIP F****d up. The Lib-Dems didn't

Anonymous said...

Just made a £50 donation

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Anonymous said...

"Just made a £50 donation"


wonkotsane said...

The Lib Dims can't have checked the company was trading in the UK on account of the fact that the company wasn't trading in the UK. Had they checked they'd have found that out and known the donation was illegal. The Lib Dims get away with it because they're part of the LibLabCon "coalition of the willing to take it up the chuff from the European Empire". The Electoral Commission is a sockpuppet quango, a plaything of the LibLabCon.

Will it bankrupt UKIP if the money has to be paid back? Put it this way: 13 MEPs, 2 Lords, councillors in all four home nations in the former United Kingdom, close to taking control of a couple of borough councils in England, expected to take Westminster seats next year (including John Bercow's seat), no debts and a number of multi-million donors who have pledged to dig deep if the donation has to be forfeited to the Treasury. Does that sound like a party on the brink of bankruptcy to you?

p.s. Iain, just saw you on BBC News 24 - you should wear your glasses when you're tired, you had your radio face on tonight. ;o)

John Chaytor said...

This is disgraceful.

From all reports I've seen, this seems to have been a true technical issue where, for one year, the person in question was not registered. He was before and after.

For the LibDems, their funder seems to be a fraudster.

If I win the EuroMillions lottery of £74 million I pledge that I will pay this money to UKIP (I know it's a long shot!).

James Mackenzie said...

Nonsense, the Lib Dems are in receipt of stolen goods, fraudulently obtained. If I'd robbed a bank and dropped the loot off at Cowley Street, claiming it was from a legal company, would due diligence be enough to avoid having to return it? The "I spent it" defence doesn't work for social security fraud or tax evasion and it shouldn't work here.

The UKIP offence is much more minor - man gives his own money to a party having forgotten to send back his form to the Electoral Commission. Silly, but not corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully when the Tories get into power they will repeal all the illegal laws brought in since 1997.
And impeach all members of Labour who have abused their powers to destroy the UK.

Anonymous said...

I think you are overreacting. It is not usual for the Court of Appeal to give leave to appeal to the Supreme Court (House of Lords as was). The Court of Appeal usually leaves it to the Supreme Court to decide what cases it will take. The Supreme Court takes cases which will clarify the law. It is not there to correct errors in the Court of Appeal. Otherwise it would be overwhelmed (it is a very small Court). But it may or may not give leave in this case. We will have to wait and see. Until then, outrage is premature, at best.

Anonymous said...

I blame Nigel Farage. As MEP for the South East of England, he has access to the electoral roll for Ramsgate where Mr Bown lives. Had Farage's office checked whether Mr Bown was on the electoral register within 30 days of receipt of the donation, UKIP could have returned the donation to Mr Bown, advised him his name was not on the electoral register and asked him to redonate the money once his name reappeared on the electoral roll. As an alternative, Mr Bown could have donated the funds through his company (assuming it is still trading).

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the punishment in this case is unjust - particularly as it is the stupidity of the UKIP leadership that has led to the current situation.

As I recall, the Electoral Commission first tried to settle this matter amicably with UKIP by giving them the chance to repay Alan Bown and then have him redonate the funds once he was back on the electoral role. UKIP either out of pigheadedness or incompetence wouldn't comply with this suggestion.

I also understand that the EC would have allowed the original court judgement (in which UKIP got off lightly with an £18,000 fine)but for Nigel Farage going on TV and trying to score political points by claiming that the EC was bullying UKIP and was holding it to a different standard than the Lib Dems, Labour et al.

I doubt very much that the EC sees itself as in the business of shutting down political parties. That is why it has dragged its feet on dealing with the illegal £2.4m donation to the Lib Dems. It has given UKIP ample opportunity to resolve this matter quickly, easily and with little or no cost.

I'd suggest that there are worthier causes to donate money to than digging Nigel Farage out of a hole of his own making.

Anonymous said...

Iain please please please spare your sympathy.

UKIP are not the victims here - they caused the mess they are now in with total costs running to £750,000+.

The Court of Appeal may have done UKIP a favour by preventing it from acquiring an even bigger legal bill.

To understand the mess UKIP has got itself into you need to look behind the spin from Farage and co and have a quick history lesson.

In 2001 Sir Jack Hayward made a £50,000 donation to the UKIP from a joint bank account.

It was established by the Electoral Commission that one of the signatories was not on the electoral roll. The impermissible payment was returned by UKIP to the donor.

This incident has always acted as a reminder to UKIP Head Office that ensuring your donors are on the electoral register is vitally important.

In this earlier case the donor's wife, Lady Hayward, replaced the shortfall a few months later.

John de Roeck a former UKIP Treasurer confirmed that he amended the forms supplied to the Party by the Electoral Commission and added a space for the Electoral Registration number on the forms against each donation.

He confirmed the reason was simply to have a reminder on the donation reporting form to avoid later problems that may have occurred if unavailable, and to avoid having to refer back to Treasurers.

Treasurers who had difficulties obtaining Electoral Registration numbers were recommended to obtain them from their local Returning Officers.

The Electoral Commission would verify these roll numbers as a matter of course.

Now roll forward a few years and yet again UKIP receive donations from someone not on the Electoral Register.

The Electoral Commission told UKIP the donor was not on the electoral register.

UKIP deliberately ignored the Electoral Commission and took no action to remedy the situation.

The really odd thing is that it wasn't an 'error', it was a decision. It can't, by any stretch of the imagination, be called an error (other than an error of judgement), since the Electoral Commission specifically told UKIP that they were breaking the rules and that Alan Bown wasn't on the electoral roll on multiple occasions.

There is no mistake from UKIP;

they chose to ignore the rules,

they chose to ignore the warnings,

they chose to ignore the EC telling them that they had to fix it and they chose not to take any action to remedy the situation.

That's a decision, not an error.

If we didn't assume otherwise, it looks like a successfully carried out plan to put the party in this position; it took a LOT of choices, not errors, to make it to where they are now.

Iain you should stop painting UKIP as the victims here - they have caused the mess they are in.

If a traffic warden tells you numerous times to move your car off a double yellow line do you:-

a) move it.

b) Ignore the traffic warden, keep ignoring them, keep your car where it is, get a ticket, still fail to remove your car, get clamped and the towed away, take the case to court complaining about the ticket, the wheel clamp and all the fines and costs?

UKIP have gone the option b route!

neil craig said...

It is clearly merely a technical error which does not breach the intent of the rules - to prevent undisclosed foreign donations. The LibDem one is considerably more dodgy though, as i have said previously on this site, it doesn't justify repayment. In the short term the Tories & BNP would gain from their banning (it would be difficult to persuade anybody that the BNP were not more trustworthy & decent than the present government) but in the longer term (ie following election) the Conservatives & British politics need a free market, traditional liberal, party in the opposition.

Daniel1979 said...

I wonder if Mr Wheeler has been asked if he can help UKIP out?

wonkotsane said...

Stuart Wheeler has already said he will contribute.

Greg_L-W. said...


One wonders who is the sloppier Journalist Michael Crick with his lazy and completely unchecked article blinded by his clever realisation that the names Bown and Brown were similar - for that is where the similarity between The series of decisions made by EUkip to antagonise and insult The Electoral Commission and our Courts based on crass advice.

Then of course the Lib.Dims. were not so dim - be minded that when EUkip accepted the donation from Bown & his company neither were legitimately registered and when EUkip were clearly advised and subsequently requested by El.Com. to regularise the position by returning the money to Mr. Bown on arrangement to receive it back from him or from a legitimate company he owned.

Phone calls, 'e'Mails, letters and face to face meetings from El.Com to try to cajole this simple adjustment but EUkip made a series of daft, perverse and utterly idiotic decisions to ensure the authorities had absolutely no choice but to take the matter all the way incrementally granting EUkip solutions.

Strange that Brown's donation was made by a legitimately registered company which was trading and registered as the Lib.Dims. due diligence established - right down to checking with the bankers to ensure both legitimacy and sufficient funds.

I understand they had the monies held in escrow until the matter was lodged with El.Com. and effectively OKd.

You will note that it was subsequent to the legitimate due diligence and clearance that the authorities locked the dealings of 5th. Avenue etc.

The Lib.Dims. unlike EUkip did all they could to assist the authorities even providing duplicates of all documents required to the authorities and it could be argued that the documentation they supplied have aided the authorities to obtain convictions of what seems to be a Ponzi scheme run by Brown.

Which was the sloppiest journalist?
Michael Crick for his indolent article without checking the facts or those journalists who with stars in their eyes did little more than copy him.

EUkip has incurred a #3/4Million debt by making a series of deliberate decisions related to an illegal donation made by an unregistered company and by an unregistered individual.

The Lib.Dims. carried out due diligence to the satisfaction of the El.Com. on a donation from a company legitimately registered which was SUBSEQUENTLY found to be fraudulently mismanaged.

That EUkip has been spared making yet another ridiculous decision to enrich the lawyers by the Courts showing there were no grounds on which to appeal (Courts don't fall for sympathy propaganda being clearly more responsible than journalists).

This is just yet another example of the incompetence of EUkip's leadership team as they could not have acted more stupidly and look where they have landed the party!

Anonymous said...

Should we draw the conclusion that people with the surname "Brown" should not be trusted with money?

DocRichard said...

Whether you want to give UKIP a donation, or whether you think it couldn't happen to a nicer party, you have to admit that it's ironic that a party whose logo is the £ should be struggling with its £££s.

Anonymous said...

yep iv put in a donation and im not even ukip :b
Also puting in more and the end of the month
There try to do anything to stop them from runing

PoliticalHackUK said...

The LDs have one view about whether they are due to repay any money - indeed, they have claimed that the matter is closed. My conversations with the Electoral Commission suggests that they have been waiting for the conclusion of legal action before considering recovery. There are two things here. The LDs did carry out sufficient due diligence to escape legal action for that part of the matter, but the donation can still be ruled illegal and subject to forfeiture. Whether the Electoral Commission wants to go that far is a different matter.