| 12.2°C Belfast

BNP faces court over bills

The British National Party owes companies in Northern Ireland hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bills, it is claimed.

The Belfast Telegraph can reveal that a number of firms here could take the party to court for monies outstanding.

One former supporter of the party has warned that small family-run firms could go bankrupt because of the shortfall, thought to total over £500,000, UK-wide.

A case has already been heard in the High Court in March involving the non-payment of election expenses relating to the Barking constituency in London, where party leader Nick Griffin was the candidate.

A company called Newton Press has taken legal action over an outstanding bill of more than £10,000 for printing services.

Last week the BNP pledged to pay off all the money it owed by the end of the year, adding that the debts were a result of spending during the last European and general election campaigns.

A former BNP supporter in Northern Ireland, who is also owed money, said he is not confident of being repaid soon.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Jim Dowson is a fundraiser who helped set up BNP offices all over the UK, including in Northern Ireland.

His firm Adlorries, which provides promotional and marketing services, claims he is owed around £160,000.

He said he has already had to dip into his own cash to pay off smaller companies related to his firm who were left out of pocket.

“The BNP claim to be the saviours of British industry and British workers, but I am afraid that around half a dozen small, family-run businesses, including some in Northern Ireland, could go to the wall because the BNP have not paid them,” he said.

“We are in a recession and times are hard enough as it is. People have been treated disgracefully.”

Mr Dowson also expressed anger that party boss Mr Griffin was spotted walking around east Belfast last week, just yards from a firm the BNP allegedly owes more than £40,000.

David Sloan from small family firm, Romac Press in east Belfast, says his company is owed £44,000.

He has defended his firm taking business from the right wing group, saying that the UK is deep in a recession.

“We were not in a position to turn people away but the BNP has basically wiped out a year’s profits,” he said.

”I have contacted police, the electoral commission and I'll take it to the High Court if I have to.”

A spokesperson for the BNP refused to confirm or deny the accusations and said that whether or not the party owes money to creditors is “irrelevant”.

Matthew Collins, Northern Ireland correspondent of Searchlight magazine, which campaigns against the BNP, said it would be “hard for voters to trust a party that cannot pay its debts”.

He added: “The BNP will bring nothing to Northern Ireland except debt, discrimination and the dark ages.”

Top Videos