'Free from financial worries': BNP leader Nick Griffin declared bankrupt

News means he was having 'a good day'

BNP leader Nick Griffin announced his bankruptcy on Friday claiming the declaration made him happy as it freed him from "financial worries".

He said the order, made at Welshpool and Newtown County Court 24 hours earlier, did not prevent him "being or standing as an MEP" - a role which earns him €91,980 a year plus generous expenses.

The European politician claims he was forced into the situation over a £77,000 bill from Welshpool-based law firm Gilbert Davies and Partners who had advised him on several cases, including a legal battle with the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the BNP's previous "whites only" membership criteria.

Gilbert Davies chased the BNP leader for the unpaid bills and he was ordered to pay nearly £120,000 in outstanding fees and costs at a hearing in February last year.

According to the BNP the MEP applied for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) offering to pay 42p in the pound over five years to the firm. The offer was rejected leading a judge to dismiss the IVA application and grant the bankruptcy petition, a BNP spokesman said on Friday.

Under his full name of Nicholas John Griffin the far-right politician featured on a bankruptcy list published by the Insolvency Service but said he would campaign to keep his seat in May's European elections.

In the line of ire: David Dimbleby, Nick Griffin and Bonnie Greer on 'Question Time' In the line of ire: David Dimbleby, Nick Griffin and Bonnie Greer on 'Question Time' BNP spokesman Simon Darby compared the bankruptcy to Michael Schumacher's situation - the former F1 driver is currently in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life in hospital following a skiing accident. He said: "Look at it this way. Michael Schumacher has millions in the bank, but he'd do anything to be in Nick's position now wouldn't he?"

Mr Griffin claimed that the bankruptcy "does free me from financial worries" and added that the news meant he was having "a good day".

He added: "Party funds are not affected in any way. Our campaign in May will be our most professional yet and I will be lead candidate in the North West. I am now turning the experience to the benefit of hard-up constituents by producing a booklet on dealing with debt. No surrender!"

Mr Griffin was elected in 2009 when the BNP polled 943,598 votes (6.2 per cent of those cast) in North West England. He will continue to draw his €91,980 MEP's salary plus a flat-rate subsistence allowance of €298 per day towards accommodation and other expenses when working in Brussels or Strasbourg.

MEPs also receive a Parliamentary Assistance Allowance of €210,480 per year, which no part of goes to Mr Griffin as additional personal income according to his website. MEPs are also provided with a General Expenditure Allowance of €50,424 per year to cover office costs and a Communications Allowance of €43,697.

According to insolvency specialists Grant Thornton, anyone declared bankrupt faces several financial restrictions such as being unable to apply for more than £500 credit without disclosing their status.

The firm said: "Discharge from bankruptcy occurs within one year. The trustee, however, continues in office for as long as is necessary to realise the assets that he holds, agree claims and make distributions to creditors."

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission confirmed that bankruptcy itself does not disqualify a candidate from standing as an MP or MEP.

Mr Darby said: "(Nick) can still stand, he will be standing again, he won't be disqualified from his seat. It is business as normal as far as it we are concerned."

Gilbert Davies declined to comment.

 

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map