The Electoral Commission, sock-puppet of the Labour government, has intimated that it may force UKIP to forfeit £363,697 in donations from Alan Brown, a former bookmaker and the main donor for the party.
Alan Brown, apparently unbeknown to himself or UKIP, was not on the electoral register during December 2004 and January 2006. He was permanently resident in the country as he has been all his life but because he made a donation during that fourteen month period it is classed as taken a donation from an overseas resident – an offence under the Political Parties and Referendums Act 2000.
If the Electoral Commission insists the money has to be forefeited the money will be passed to the Crown. UKIP Chairman, John Whittaker, says that it could bankrupt the party which is not cash or asset rich but doesn’t have any debts unlike the Conservatives who are selling their headquarters to pay bills or Labour who are unable to service their debts or pay wages on time and are technically insolvent.
The Lib Dems received a large donation from an overseas resident who made the donation through a company which has never been proven to operate in the UK. Donations by overseas residents are permitted as long as it is made through a company that operates in the UK – this is how Labour got away with receiveing their £2m donation from Lakshmi Mittal who lives in India but whose company operates in the UK. The Lib Dems, however, were not forced to repay the donation which would have bankrupted them even though there is still no evidence that the company through which the donation was made has ever traded in the UK.
If UKIP is forced to forfeit this donation then it at least proves one thing – the British government is seriously concerned about losing out to UKIP in the coming elections and will do anything it can to try and take them out of the running. Yes, the donations were technically illegal but the circumstances surrounding them are dubious and it is pretty clear that there was no intentional illegality. It’s hardly on a par with cash for peerages is it?