BNP Barking election expenses examined by High Court judge

Two unpaid stationery invoices from last year’s Barking election could mean British National Party chairman, Nick Griffin, has to explain himself before the High Court.

A top judge has ordered papers to be sent to the director of public prosecutions after hearing of an infraction of strict rules relating to election expenses, where Mr Griffin suffered a crushing defeat in the general election last May.

Mr Justice Tugendhat acted after hearing of a bitter falling out between Mr Griffin and former BNP stalwart and Greater London Authority (GLA) member, Richard Barnbrook, who acted as his boss’s election agent in Barking but has since been expelled from the BNP.

However, he adjourned the case, saying that Mr Griffin, as the election candidate, may also have to come to court to seek relief against potential prosecution.

The case centres around two printing firm invoices - totalling almost �10,000 - for leaflet publishing before the poll. They were declared as having been paid in full on the election expenses return, but the court heard they have in fact still not been settled.

That inaccuracy amounts to an offence under the Representation of the People Act - which contains Draconian penalties for breaches of election rules - and Mr Barnbrook is now asking the High Court to lift the threat of prosecution from over his head.

Under the rules, election expenses must be paid within 28 days of the poll result, and the judge added that the printing bills cannot now be paid without permission from the court.