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 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£22000 - £33000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: ICT TeacherLeedsRandstad ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Graduate C#.NET Developer (TDD, ASP.NET, SQL) Su...
£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior SQL DBA...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...