November 01, 2011

BNP chief's daughter fails to attend Belfast tribunal amid blackmail claims

Jennifer Matthys, daughter of BNP chairman Nick Griffin, was to give evidence in former party worker's unfair dismissal case

Nick Griffin's daughter has failed to attend a Northern Ireland industrial tribunal the British National Party is embroiled in because, she claims, she is being blackmailed.

Jennifer Matthys had been scheduled to give evidence in Belfast on Tuesday in an unfair dismissal case taken by a former BNP staff member. Marion Thomas claims she was unfairly dismissed from her job at the party's fundraising centre in Dundonald on the eastern edge of Belfast.

The blackmail claim was made by Jennifer Matthys' husband and Nick Griffin's son-in-law, Angus Matthys, who is a BNP parish councillor in Woodside, Wigton, Cumbria. He told the tribunal there had been an attempt to run him and his wife off the road when they were driving in Cumbria last March. He claimed people from Northern Ireland had been involved.

The couple used to work at the fundraising centre, which is owned by a party supporter and millionaire businessman.

Thomas alleges she was dismissed after complaining about Councillor Matthys for making a mistake which cost the party hundreds of pounds. Thomas told the tribunal she had subsequently been held against her will by party officials in a van in Comber, County Down, a claim the party denies.

The Guardian

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