Friday, September 19, 2014

NICK GRIFFIN’S BANKRUPTCY AND THE EFFECT ON THE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY’S (BNP) PROSPECTS


NICK GRIFFIN’S BANKRUPTCY AND THE EFFECT ON THE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY’S (BNP) PROSPECTS

My first reaction on hearing about anybody’s financial ruin, even if I disagree with them politically, is to be willing to lend a sympathetic ear to the reasons why it has happened. In the case of Nick Griffin that initial sympathetic response was reduced when I read his bizarre comments about how helpful bankruptcy was going to be in freeing him up for standing in the EU elections.

This suggests a level of ignorance or silliness beyond what anyone would expect of somebody who studied Law at Cambridge University.

I then also heard stories of how he had run up an enormous bill with his solicitor fighting various, by the sound of it, hopeless cases and then it was being claimed on his behalf by spokesman (Simon Darby) that he had a claim for negligence against these solicitors.

As someone who deals regularly with bankruptcy cases I can assure anyone that it is highly unlikely that a court would have allowed a bankruptcy order to be made if any credible evidence of an even remotely arguable claim against the solicitors was put forward. No, the only conclusion from what is being said is that Nick Griffin has been behaving in a financially irresponsible and downright silly way.

The effect of the bankruptcy should however prove interesting. The first point to note is that I am told that this is Nick Griffin’s second bankruptcy. If so, he will remain bankrupt probably for his whole life as there is no automatic discharge from bankruptcy on your second bankruptcy.

Second, I am told that large sums have been hidden away in accounts and property in amongst other places, Croatia. If that is true and he does not disclose then he could well go to prison because failure to cooperate with your Trustee in Bankruptcy is a serious criminal offence. Whilst he is not automatically disqualified from office or for re-standing for the position of a Member of the European Parliament as a result of his bankruptcy, if he is sentenced to an even suspended term of imprisonment of more than a year, then that does deprive him of office and disqualify him for five years.

Even more interestingly and politically significant is the effect on Nick Griffin’s position as Chairman and Leader of the BNP. The BNP constitution is now quite an enormous morass of strange terms like “final determinator” and runs to over 90 pages.

The general law is that membership of a political party is, in legal terms, equivalent to membership of, for example, a golf club, and the same rules and principles apply to both. It follows that membership of a political party is a “proprietary interest” which along with all other proprietary interests are automatically transferred on bankruptcy from the bankrupt to initially the Official Receiver and then after the creditors have had their meeting to whoever has been appointed as the bankrupt’s Trustee in Bankruptcy.

The job of the Trustee in Bankruptcy is, of course, to gather in as much money as possible for the bankrupt’s estate, sell any properties that he has got and pay himself and the creditors as much as possible.

So one of the “assets” that the Trustee in Bankruptcy will hold is Nick Griffin’s membership of the British National Party. This means that as of this moment Nick Griffin is not a member of the British National Party. He cannot resume his old membership except by buying it from the Trustee in Bankruptcy and unlike most clubs the BNP’s constitution does not expressly provide that membership is either personal to the individual or automatically terminates on bankruptcy. Office within the British National Party would appear to be personal, but is restricted to only those who have long-standing and continuous memberships. It follows from this that Nick Griffin is legally no longer either the Chairman or Leader or the holder of any office whatsoever in the British National Party.

You may ask what Nick Griffin could do to get himself back into the position of legally being Chairman or Leader. The answer to this is that it would be difficult because the BNP has a rule against new members having office. The Chairman has the power to waive the rule, but obviously there is no Chairman at present. It follows from this that the rule would have to be applied and that imposes a probationary period on any new member before they are allowed to become an office holder.

If anybody from the BNP who is reading this has any interest in becoming Leader and/or Chairman of the Party, then the way is wide open. The present situation is that Nick Griffin cannot properly stand for re-election. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks whether anyone in the BNP takes up this opportunity to take-over the Party!

I have also noticed that on Facebook and generally over the internet there are comments from Adrian Davies who I understand has been involved in some of the cases against Nick Griffin and the BNP that have led to Nick Griffin’s current situation. As a solicitor practicing this area of law I would say that I do thoroughly agree with Adrian Davies’ analysis.

The idea that all of this is in anyway beneficial either for the British National Party or for Nick Griffin is a strange one. Here is what Adrian Davies has to say:-

''How will the creditors get paid? Here’s how. The party’s constitution gives the chairman an indemnity out of party funds for liabilities incurred qua chairman. Obviously the party’s assets cannot be seized to pay his private debts, but the debts due to Gilbert Davies were indisputably incurred while acting as chairman, not for Gri££o’s private purposes.

Upon the chairman’s bankruptcy, the trustee stands in his shoes and can pursue the indemnity whether the bankrupt likes it or not. The bankrupt probably won’t like it, but that is neither here nor there.

Even though an unincorporated association has no legal personality, and is not within any part of the Insolvency Act 1986, the High Court has an inherent power to wind up an unincorporated association; see Re Lead Company’s Workmen’s Fund Society [1904] 2 Ch. 196 and Blake v. Smither (1906) 22 TLR 698. The Court also has the power to appoint a receiver of the BNP’s assets to give effect to the trustee’s indemnity.

Because Gri££in doesn’t pay his own solicitors, he has trouble in obtaining legal advice, and generally relies on an unqualified crony and barrack room lawyer. As a result, he has not anticipated the consequences of his bankruptcy and does not understand them.

No doubt the trustee will exercise these powers. Any person operating “fronts” for the party would be at risk of contempt proceedings, and orders to account to the receiver or liquidator for monies received by them on the party’s behalf. Any person assisting the bankrupt in concealing assets or assisting the treasurer of the party in concealing or dissipating funds will be made personally liable.

The last part should be a warning to any of those who may be foolish enough to hide any assets which are sought after to pay debts owed.
More so as there are two other long running claims coming up, which may be as much as 175k."
http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/nick-griffins-bankruptcy-and-effect-on.html

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin Bryan is trying to stir the shit with the other NF faction by saying that someone is being stopped by the London NF from standing in the forthcoming bye-election in Heywood & Middleton.

The person he has named will not be standing for the NF anymore.

Anonymous said...

Now i know why Eddy Butler WASN'T a member of the BNP. Make your own minds up.

Anonymous said...

Gri££in is a curse on Nationalists.

Has it come to this ? What NF marches used to look like............