Aitken fights bid to seize his pension
Friday 20 August 1999
Baker Tilly, the firm appointed as bankruptcy trustee, confirmed yesterday that it had applied to the Parliamentary Pension Fund for the seizure. It is the first such request in the history of Parliament.
The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who is 57 this month, is owed the pension for the 23 years he served as an MP before stepping down from Thanet South at the 1997 general election. He was told of the move in a letter sent to Stanford Hill prison, Kent.
Aitken's friends said he would fight the case in the courts, citing the fact that civil service pensions have always been exempted from bankrupts' estates and claiming that MPs' funds should be treated similarly.
Paul Gordon-Saker, head of corporate recovery and insolvency at Stephenson Harwood, the solicitors advising Baker Tilly, said yesterday: "A letter has been written to the Parliamentary Pension Fund with this request. Every bankrupt has his pension fund obtained by the trustee for the benefit of creditors they are acting for."
Aitken's main creditors are The Guardian newspaper and Granada Television, who Aitken unsuccessfully sued for libel in one of the most spectacular political lawsuits in recent memory. Both The Guardian and Granada rejected an offer of pounds 840,000 to settle the libel costs just before Aitken declared himself bankrupt in May.
Aitken's friends yesterday described the unprecedented move as further evidence of his unfair hounding. One close friend, the Tory MP Alan Duncan, described the application as a "vicious persecution. In my view Stephenson Harwood and Baker Tilly have done nothing by their conduct to improve their professional reputation. My personal view is that the conduct of both firms is repugnant," he said.
Mr Duncan said Aitken was "certain" to challenge any attempt to seize his pension, and would argue that occupational pension funds are owned by the fund's trustees, not contributing individuals. It would also be pointed out that civil servants have not lost their pensions when declared bankrupt.
Mr Duncan said he believed that the Parliamentary Pension Fund was seeking legal advice on the request from Baker Tilly.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...