The recent events surrounding Nick Griffin’s bankruptcy and subsequent declaration that he will still be contesting the E.U. elections have thrown up more questions than answers.
This is the second time Griffin has been made bankrupt and so the consequences are far more serious, everything he previously owned, all assets, property, including any memberships of groups, clubs and societies, now belongs to the official receivers for the benefit of the creditors.
Although Griffin has stated he can, as someone made bankrupt for a 2nd time, contest the EU elections, as far as I understand it his comments may just be empty rhetoric after his court case.
Even though in 2002 Labour changed the law to allow Griffin to stand in elections there are still a few points that are bugging me over his comment, the Enterprise Act 2002 has the following sections which seem quite clear with regards to the eligibility to stand for Parliament and Local authority positions when bankrupt.
Disqualification from office: Parliament
(1)The following shall be inserted before section 427 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45) (the title to which becomes “ Disqualification from Parliament (Scotland and Northern Ireland) ”)—
“426ADisqualification from Parliament (England and Wales)
(1)A person in respect of whom a bankruptcy restrictions order has effect shall be disqualified—
(a)from membership of the House of Commons,
(b)from sitting or voting in the House of Lords, and
(c)from sitting or voting in a committee of the House of Lords or a joint committee of both Houses.
Disqualification from office: local government
(1)The following shall be substituted for section 80(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) (disqualification for membership of local authority: bankrupt)—
“(b)is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order;”.
(2)Section 81(1) and (2) of that Act (which amplify the provision substituted by subsection (1) above) shall cease to have effect.
Disqualification from office: general
(1)The Secretary of State may make an order under this section in relation to a disqualification provision.
(2)A “disqualification provision” is a provision which disqualifies (whether permanently or temporarily and whether absolutely or conditionally) a bankrupt or a class of bankrupts from—
(a)being elected or appointed to an office or position,
(b)holding an office or position, or
(c)becoming or remaining a member of a body or group.
So what about his eligibility to stand in the EU elections, well this is where, as I understand it, he can’t stand.
As previously stated Griffin owns nothing, all assets, property, including any memberships of groups, clubs and societies, and any funds which he may hold now belongs to the official receivers. So on the subject of clubs and associations, this would also mean that his membership of the BNP is now transferred to the official receivers, there for making Griffin no longer a member of the BNP, and under their own constitution he could no longer hold the position of BNP Chairman, making it open season for his position from other members.
I have also heard he has funds in 2 organisations, British Shieldwall Association and the Trafalgar club, if these funds do exist then they now belong to the official receivers.
Griffin has stated that his bankruptcy frees him up for the EU election, more than freeing him I believe it has now seriously restricted what he can do having lost all assets and property, memberships of groups, clubs and societies. His credit rating is probably the same as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, as such printing firms are likely to want cash up front when dealing with the BNP or Griffin, making any campaign very difficult.
The internet is awash we other stories of secret accounts in Croatia worth in excess of £600,000, and what has he done with his massive MEP salary and expenses?
I am sure that over the next couple of months we will hear more of his bankruptcy, but if Labour hadn’t changed the law back in 2002 Griffin would already be a distant memory
”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 as 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 Griffin’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  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 Griffin doesn’t pay his own solicitors, he now has trouble in obtaining legal advice, and generally relies on friends for advice (If he has any left). 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.”