British National Party leader and Member of European Parliament for North West England, Nick Griffin, has been declared bankrupt.
Griffin was declared bankrupt at Welshpool and Newtown County Court yesterday (2 January) under his full name, Nicholas John Griffin.
Griffin accrued debts following a legal dispute with a firm of solicitors but is not subject to a bankruptcy restriction order (BRO), meaning he will not be disqualified from Parliament or standing for future elections.
Appointed to lead the BNP in 1999 and elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Griffin has often courted controversy on the subjects of immigration, race and civil partnerships.
An official statement from the party said: “Mr Griffin had applied for an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) offering to pay 42p in the £ over 5 years to all his creditors. This was rejected by the petitioning creditor, who said they would not accept any kind of deal under any circumstances.
“With no possible chance that Gilbert Davies would agree, as the major creditor, Deputy District Judge Fox dismissed the IVA application and then proceeded to deal with the bankruptcy petition, which he granted.”
Despite the bankruptcy, Griffin will not step down as leader of the party or from his seat in the European Parliament.
Griffin tweeted: “Being bankrupt does NOT prevent me being or standing as an MEP. It does free me from financial worries. A good day!
“Party funds are not affected in any way. Our campaign in May will be our most professional yet & 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!”
A spokesman for the party said Griffin would continue to stand for future elections and has taken “a blow on the chin for the party”.
The spokesman said: “Nick was in Damascus not so long ago helping to literally stop war with Syria. Nobody mentioned it but everybody wants to know what happened in Welshpool Magistrates Court, so that’s what he’s up against.”