Experts are predicting the UK could be “BNP-free” after party leader Nick Griffin was declared bankrupt on Thursday at the Welshpool and Newtown county court.
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Dogged by a flailing popularity and a mass exodus of key activists, the recent ruling may be the fatal blow for the far-right political party.
Politics expert Matthew Goodwin expects the party will be obsolete by the May European Elections; predicting Griffin will lose his north-west seat and effectively render the UK “BNP-free”.
The bankruptcy announcement came after a dispute involving Griffin and Gilbert Davies and Partners, his previous solicitors, which had represented the party leader in a 2010 case with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The court found the party’s constitution discriminated racially during the trail, and Griffin lost the case.
Gilbert Davies and Partners then launched the action due to outstanding debts totalling GBP 120,000.
Now that the Welshpool and Newtown court have declared Griffin’s bankruptcy, the Insolvency Service – which regulates insolvency in the UK – has published his name in its records.
Just a few years ago, the BNP boasted a growing popularity, nearly 60 councillors, and an assembly member in London.
Now, the party – which has been surrounded by claims of financial mismanagement – boasts only a handful of local councillors.
Trouble began earlier last week when around 50 councillors and activists left the party after a dispute between the hardliners and modernisers.
Showdown meetings were called to pacify tensions between the rebels and Griffin, yet culminated in chaos and the eventual resignations.
Then, Labour MP Jon Cruddas accused the party’s leadership of money laundering, spying and theft.
His dossier, handed to both the Metropolitan Police and the Electoral Commission, contains what Cruddas terms as “systematic illegality in terms of data protection, bugging, money laundering, theft and the operation of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000.”
These recent developments – coupled with the party’s apparent loss of support from the Yorkshire constituencies (widely seen as BNP strongholds) have wedged deep cracks in the already troubled party.
The recent ruling does not require Griffin to give up his position as MEP.
He recently took to Twitter to inform followers his intention to defend his seat, and stated the BNP’s campaign in May will be the party’s “most professional yet.”
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