Postby Cannydc » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:00 am

UKIP is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after it was presented with a legal bill of £175,000 for its part in a libel action involving three Labour MPs in the run up to the 2015 election.

If the party does not appeal, it must find the cash in the next fortnight, which may leave it unable to field candidates in the local elections in May.

The party has been hovering on the edge of insolvency since its support collapsed following the resignation of Nigel Farage as leader after the EU referendum.

Last month it lost a complex legal case involving its role in preventing a libel action settling before the general election of 2015.

Last year, a long-running action was finally settled against the UKIP MEP Jane Collins and in favour of Sarah Champion, Sir Kevin Barron and John Healey, whom Collins had accused in 2014 of ignoring child sexual abuse in Rotherham. UKIP became involved, initially paying Collins’ costs.

But at the hearing in February, the judge, Mr Justice Warby, concluded that the party’s role then changed. He said in his ruling that it then took a “deliberate, informed and calculated decision, for reasons of party political advantage, to ensure that the case was not settled before the general election”.

The judge said that may have meant the party prevented a swifter settlement of the case, meaning legal costs had risen significantly. Ukip must pay the costs accrued between March 2015 and June 2015, and costs from the assessment hearing, he ruled.

The judge has set those costs at £175,000. UKIP can appeal, but if it does not it must find the cash in the next fortnight.

The party’s finances are thought to be in a perilous condition.

It will lose its MEPs in 2019, after the UK leaves the EU. If it fails to contest English local elections, UKIP will be reduced to a rump of six Welsh assembly members.

Whip round by all you rabid right wingers ? No ? Come on chaps, your party needs enough money to at least give them a decent burial...

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... legal-bill
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