September 11, 2008

BNP accounts don’t add up

When the British National Party told its members in January that it had raised £70,000 as a result of its “Building to Grow” appeal, Searchlight was sceptical. After all, the appeal was launched just as the internal crisis erupted last December. Who in their right mind, we thought, would donate such sums to a party that seemed about to collapse.

We were wrong. A printout of transactions on the BNP’s main bank account, which fell into our hands recently, shows that between 14 and 31 December alone Ged Munns, the BNP’s chief fundraiser, paid in £41,605 described as “appeals”.

During January he paid in a further £30,011.50, making a total of over £70,000 though a long way short of the “well over £80,000” that a report on the BNP website on 14 February claimed the appeal had raised. Why tell the truth when it is so easy to lie to the party’s gullible members?

How strange then than the BNP’s audited accounts for the year to 31 December 2007, released by the Electoral Commission at the end of July, show the total raised from “fundraising activities” during the whole year was £23,433, less even than the £38,970 raised in 2006.

Why would the party not want to highlight the success of the “Building to Grow” appeal, run for Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, by the Belfast-based Midas Consultancy, to which the party paid £6,900 during March and April this year? Midas, owned by the hardline anti-abortion activist James Dowson, also produced the begging letters for the BNP’s recent “truth truck” appeal and arranged the party’s officer training sessions in Spain in spring.

It would be tempting to conclude that the appeal money swiftly found its way out of the BNP coffers and into Griffin’s back pocket, but that would be wrong. The bank account balance of £30,417.58 on the printout for 31 December matches the £30,418 shown on the balance sheet at that date, so all the income must appear in the accounts somewhere.

Has the “Building to Grow” income simply been hidden in donations, a figure that nevertheless fell from nearly £290,000 in 2006 to under £200,000 in 2007? Of this sum £36,000 came from four supporters whose donations were declared individually to the Electoral Commission. Including the “Building to Grow” income in “donations” would mask a huge drop in ordinary donations.

The BNP’s 2007 accounts revealed some other interesting features. Most notable is the opinion of Silver & Co, the party’s regular auditors, that the financial statements do not give a true and fair view of the state of the party’s affairs at 31 December 2007 and of the year’s results.

An adverse auditors’ report is normally devastating for a company, making it almost impossible to obtain credit. A normal political party would find that donors lose confidence that their money will be used properly and income dries up. The BNP no doubt hopes that its donors will not notice or be too stupid to understand.

Griffin tries to skate over the embarrassment by blaming Kenny Smith, who was one of the leaders of last winter’s BNP rebels. “Accurate accounting for this year is problematic owing to the point-blank refusal of the former head of Administration to account for large amounts of expenditure”, he writes in his introduction to the accounts. But mindful of the potential financial implications of a libel claim, he hastens to add that much of the money was undoubtedly properly spent.

Smith was also blamed in the 2006 accounts, both for their lateness and for a qualification to the auditors’ report on the grounds that no vouchers had been produced to show how £14,000 transferred during the year to Smith’s “B N Publications” account had been spent. In fact B N Publications was a separate business run by Smith outside the party so arguably did not need to explain how it spent the fees it received for its services.

The reason why the 2007 accounts were “not a true and fair view” may be the size of the amount involved, especially compared to the party’s gross income, which was considerably lower in 2007 than the previous year.

But there nay be another explanation, contained in a further attempt to cast aspersions on Smith as well as explain the party’s reduced income despite a claimed 56% growth in membership. Griffin writes: “Income was down on the previous year, but given that we never received crucial accounting records from British National Lottery or Excalibur [both then run by Smith], we have estimated that we could have lost nearly £70,000 in unaccounted income”.

Is Griffin saying that Smith extracted £70,000 from the party in addition to failing to account for £32,271 of fees paid to him? How? Even the newly revamped and expanded Excalibur is not expected to make more than £20,000 a year profit from a £40,000 turnover.

The accounts certainly do show a large reduction in income. Alongside the drop in donations, income from commercial activities fell by over £70,000 to £175,000. And nearly half of this income consists of sales of the BNP’s monthly publications Voice of Freedom and Identity to the party’s own local units.

The regional accounts, which bring together the income and expenditure of all the party units, suggest they only recoup a fraction of this from sales to the public. However the truth is unclear.

While some of the local units’ income is properly categorised as “donations”, “commercial activities” etc, more than half – over £147,000 – was not, and appears in the regional accounts as a “petty cash difference”. This failure fully to record income sources suggests that the BNP rebels had a point when they accused Dave Hannam, the regional treasurer, of incompetence. Stating where income comes from is one of the most basic of bookkeeping tasks, though the accounts blame the “volunteers” who keep the local groups’ petty cash books.

Returning to the main accounts, membership income is up, though not by the same proportion as the growth in membership numbers. Presumably some people are joining on the cheap. But the increase is not enough to set off the fall in donations and commercial income. Total income in 2007 was £611,000 compared to £726,000 the previous year.

Although the BNP managed to save on some costs, it ended 2007 with a deficit of over £50,000 compared to a £19,000 surplus in 2006, increasing its insolvency.

No wonder the party needed Dowson to extricate it from bankruptcy. The “Building to Grow” appeal was supposedly intended to expand the party’s capabilities. For example the BNP claimed the new funds enabled it to open its new premises in Deeside with “a vast array of new equipment with a value of well in excess of £35,000”.

In fact it seems that only about £18,000 was spent on buying new equipment, from a company called Twofold Ltd. The rest seems to be leased. Leasing is often commercially sensible but not when you give your members the impression that their donations have been invested in acquiring the equipment the party needs to progress.

The rest of the “Building to Grow” money is being spent on paying the salaries of the party’s officers and meeting its debts, such as the more than £20,000 it still owed to HM Revenue and Customs for value added tax and income tax and national insurance deducted from employees’ salaries.

As well as not paying over the PAYE deductions, the BNP continued to get away with paying half of its staffing bill in the form of “professional fees” to avoid national insurance and income tax. Staff paid gross included Simon Darby the party’s deputy leader, Munns, Hannam, Arthur Kemp who runs the party’s educational and training department, and a number of the BNP rebels who complained about the policy.

The BNP ended 2007 insolvent to the tune of £86,000. It survived because the party was able to borrow nearly £42,000 from its local units. In 2006 it ran up a debt of nearly £22,000 to the local units, but the full amount was repaid in January 2007 as the party was keen to announce.

Such prompt repayment was not repeated after 31 December 2007. The auditors’ report on the regional accounts highlighted the debt, pointing out that the party had “insufficient funds, which places doubt on the ability of the Party to repay this money”. Hannam’s treasurer’s report states: “It is the aim of central office to repay this internal loan with monthly standing orders”, but the party seems in no hurry to get on with it.

One person who is doing well out of the BNP is Mark Collett, the BNP’s former director of publicity who is still responsible for its graphic design. One of the main targets of the BNP rebels, he remains widely unpopular in the party. Between May 2007 and April 2008 his Vanguard Promotions business received nearly £50,000 from the party, most of it after “Building to Grow” started bearing fruit.

If the success of “Building to Grow” was repeated in the Truth Truck appeal, the BNP may now have reversed its financial woes. The election of Richard Barnbrook to the London Assembly in May will also have helped. His £50,000 salary is far higher than any BNP officer receives so he has generously agreed to donate £5,000 a year to party funds. In addition he has been able to employ three assistants at London taxpayers’ expense, one of whom is Darby, saving the BNP the expense of paying him. It is such financial gains multiplied several fold that await the BNP if it succeeds in getting candidates elected to the European Parliament next year.

Searchlight

27 comments:

Angry said...

"One person who is doing well out of the BNP is Mark Collett...Between May 2007 and April 2008 his Vanguard Promotions business received nearly £50,000 from the party, most of it after “Building to Grow” started bearing fruit."

Which makes it VERY clear that Colletts business (and BMW) is directly funded by the membership of the BNP, thereby, by implication, the party itse;f. So why aren't Vanguard accounts available for us to look over? How much is this piece of shit ripping ordinary people off for?

Anonymous said...

"....donations, a figure that nevertheless fell from nearly £290,000 in 2006 to under £200,000 in 2007"

So the membership is claimed to be racing up and beyond 10,000 from about 7,000 but donations are dropping just as fast? Looks like the members are getting wise to Nick Griffin after all. :)

Collett is a cunt said...

"One person who is doing well out of the BNP is Mark Collett"

That little cunts going to end up a millionaire thanks to Nick Gri££ins lust for him. Whats it like being a kept boy Mark? I know you read this page because you love reading about yourself. Do you know your fucking hated by most of your colleages? Do you know there are people keeping a close eye on you? Do you know there are people who have had enough of you and your snidey fucking face and your snidey pervy big i am attitude? There are going to be bigchanges soon and you and 5IMon Darby Arthur the grass and that fuckhead Lance are all out on your ears chop chop, geddit.

Dave said...

"Griffin tries to skate over the embarrassment by blaming Kenny Smith"

God, how much longer are they going to blame the rebels for their own shortcomings. At this rate it'll all still be Kenny Smith/Sadie Graham/Matt Single's fault in ten years time.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Smiths had to hand over the accounts after the court hearing?

Antifascist said...

'That little cunts going to end up a millionaire thanks to Nick Gri££ins lust for him. Whats it like being a kept boy Mark? I know you read this page because you love reading about yourself. Do you know your fucking hated by most of your colleages? Do you know there are people keeping a close eye on you? Do you know there are people who have had enough of you and your snidey fucking face and your snidey pervy big i am attitude? There are going to be bigchanges soon and you and 5IMon Darby Arthur the grass and that fuckhead Lance are all out on your ears chop chop, geddit.'

You don't like Collett then?

Anonymous said...

How much money has gone on Paedo Boy's fetish for young-looking foreign prostitutes, and Imelda Reid's extravagant Jimmy Choo shoes??????

Anonymous said...

What about the RWB money?

Who's spent that?

Anonymous said...

If cyclops gets into brussels, paedo boy will be running the bnp as a child-loving puppett.

Anonymous said...

or should that be muppett?

Field Hedd said...

Paedo Boy must have a major influence over Cyclops for Gri££in to allow the little nonce to nick so much money for himself rather than greasing his masters palms which makes the mind wander what secret Paedo Boy has locked away in a safe deposit box should anything nasty happen to the bastard?

Antifascist said...

'or should that be muppett?'

I think it should be 'muupet', actually.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
What about the RWB money?

Who's spent that?

4:44 PM, September 11, 2008"

Rumour has it that Gri££in has used it to repay the £42,000 that he took from the Regional Accounting Unit to plug the £85,000funding gap in Head Office account.

Anonymous said...

collett is a cunt posting at 3.53
perhaps needs to consider changing his name to cobra........there is so much venom in his posting.

tulip

Anonymous said...

I see Sadie Graham and Matt Single's time is now taken up by posting on UAF

Kerrs Pink said...

How much money was raised at the RWB, anyway?

Surely someone knows the true amount???

Anonymous said...

Both rebel blogs aren't doing much, which might mean the lost sheeple have returned to the fold, sadly. Which is why I'm here!

Anonymous said...

'How much money has gone on Paedo Boy's fetish for young-looking foreign prostitutes, and Imelda Reid's extravagant Jimmy Choo shoes??????'

Isn't the term 'Paedo Boy' an oxymoron? Can a boy be a paedophile? It makes the accusation seem false. It's a bit like calling someone a Nazi Jew. ;)

Dark Poet said...

Do we really need a picture of that pasty white paedo motherfucker next to the story?

You're just giving Collett another internet picture to wank over.....

Antifascist said...

'You're just giving Collett another internet picture to wank over.....'

Actually, we thought Nick Griffin might like it to - no, never mind.

Collett's Cockroach said...

This guy Mark Collett must be the ugliest bastard I've ever seen.
He reminds me of the old saying: 'Every one has the right to be ugly but you abuse the privilege'.

Dark Poet said...

Some forums filter out swearwords - so glad yours doesn't

ex burnley bnp said...

Isn't that Richardson woman both a Nazi and Jewish???

Enough Is Enough call Collet Paedo Boy cos he has the immaturity of a little kid and the sexual predatory nature of Gary Glitter, so mister darby or llb or whoever the hell troll you are, Paedo Boy will always be Paedo Boy until his master and himself get the hell away from the bnp.

Paedo Boy and Cyclops have together ruined the bnp the evil bastards.

Piggles said...

"Isn't the term 'Paedo Boy' an oxymoron? Can a boy be a paedophile? It makes the accusation seem false. It's a bit like calling someone a Nazi Jew. ;)"

Well here's a story about a nazi cell in Israel
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6987848.stm

Anonymous said...

Paedo Boy has the brain of a little boy and the mind of a pervy adult, the cunt!

Fillus (up) Carter said...

You should carry a "warning notice" before you publish a picture of that ugly bastard on your blog. I gagged when I opened this thread and saw his rancid mug and no I wasnt blowing the Walker brothers in the ladies bogs in the Kimberley Hotel either you dirty minded sods.

Anonymous said...

u wont post this i no but i m ex bnp and once fancied mark i saw im on tv and took like to him saw him of c4 met him in leeds pub where he drinks the devon was one of his exs and I can tell you he is useless in bed his willy is tiny and he did nowt for me saw him on facebook and saw bnp connection was never a member just took liking to the guys in bnp some fit hunks in leeds fancied big style and liked mark pet name chipmunk in bed lost interest he is bit of slut sleeping round ignored me for days and sent me sicko txts saing i was sypho carrier not true he is a liar and if he gets siffo aint my fault