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Ukip loses High Court fight with former leader Richard Braine

A judge has dismissed claims that Mr Braine, and former deputy leader Tony Sharp, were behind a serious data breach.

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Richard Braine (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Richard Braine (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Richard Braine (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ukip has lost a High Court fight with former leader Richard Braine.

The party’s operating company, the United Kingdom Independence Party Ltd, had sued Mr Braine, and former deputy leader Tony Sharp, and said they were “behind a serious data breach”.

Bosses accused the two men of misusing confidential information and alleged that, in late 2019, they had been involved in accessing Ukip’s email database in order to send emails to Ukip members concerning National Executive Committee elections.

They also made a “blackmail” allegation and said Mr Braine and Mr Sharp were behind an email, sent to four Ukip members in October 16 2019, which contained various threats to disclose information unless the recipients resigned from positions in the party.

Both men strenuously denied the allegations and a judge on Tuesday ruled in their favour.

Mr Justice Saini struck out all but one claim against Mr Braine, and all claims against Mr Sharp, after concluding that Ukip Ltd had not established a “more than fanciful case”.

The judge said the remaining claim against Mr Braine related to alleged breach of duties under the Companies Act.

He said if Ukip Ltd wanted to pursue that claim it should be considered by a County Court judge.

Mr Braine and Mr Sharp had asked Mr Justice Saini to strike out claims against them and the judge had considered arguments at a recent, virtual, High Court hearing.

PA