Saturday, February 24, 2007

What a Farage-o

It seems that UKIP have made a bit of a cock-up with their accounts. As Iain Dale reported a while ago, they were late submitting the returns and they've now been hoist by the good old standby of taking a donation from an impermissible donor. For a party populated by the bulldog breed of Colonel Blimp, they seem to be remarkably incompetent at basic administration.

It seems that one of their major donors - who has handed over something around a million quid to bankroll their plucky fight against the mighty European juggernaut (and to dip their own snouts into the Eurotrough) - forgot to register on the electoral roll. Naturally, UKIP have issued a bombastic statement blaming a minor clerical error, but revealing one interesting issue that raises a query about the whole story.
Mr Alan Bown, was not on the Electoral Register between December 2004 and January 2006. He was, however, on the register at his Kent address before this period and has also been on the register since January 2006. He was unaware that his name had been removed from the list during 2005... Had Mr Bown realised that his name had been removed from the electoral register, he could have completed the relevant form and immediately rendered himself a permissible donor.
Well, I might suggest that Mr Bown COULD have worked out that he wasn't on the electoral list when he went to vote UKIP in the General Election in May 2005. Being turned away at the polling station might have been a little clue. Unless one of their biggest donors and senior members didn't even bother to vote UKIP - which says a lot about his dedication to the cause.

However, it does raise the question of Michael Brown and the Liberal Democrats. Poor old UKIP look to face financial ruin, yet Ming and Co still hang on to the £2.4 million handed over by the convicted fraudster Michael Brown through his (non-trading) company. Why won't the Electoral Commission use their powers against the LDs and require the forfeiture of the money?


Unity said...

Apparently the delay on the LDs is down to an investigation by the City of London Police.

I'm guessing some sort of fraud (by Brown, not the LDS) but whatever it is the Electoral Commission won't rule on Brown's donation until the police have finished their enquiries.

Anonymous said...

In the last two weeks The Employment Tribunal has found that Birmingham City Council and the respondents (Senior Managers)have racially discriminated and victimised and unfairly dismissed one of its employee from the City Council legal services. The City Council Should know suspend the managers and start the disciplinary process.

Managers are too ready to sack employees for minor offences and in this employee case for no offence.

The Council should treat all employees equally. Favouritism treatment of the most senior Managers could be considered as fraud.

This story will soon be big news.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yes, Unity, the EC's judgement sounds very delayed.

"The Electoral Commission has previously made clear its view that it was reasonable for the Liberal Democrats - based on the information available to them at the time - to regard the donations they received from 5th Avenue Partners Ltd in 2005, totalling just over £2.4m, as permissible.

It remains the Commissions view that the Liberal Democrats acted in good faith at that time, and the Commission is not re-opening the question of whether the party or its officers failed to carry out sufficient checks into the permissibility of the donations."

Not. It seems pretty clear from the whole statement that, whatever happens in the Brown case, the LibDems are in the clear unless evidence arises from the police investigation that the LDs knew that the donations were impermissable.