Election candidate wins court case against Brexit Party

Former UKIP leader wins court case against Brexit Party

Former UKIP leader wins court case against Brexit Party - Credit: Archant

A dumped election candidate has been awarded nearly £600 in expenses after successfully taking the Brexit Party to court.

Paul Bullen, former UKIP group leader on Cambridgeshire County Council, had been lined up to take on Brexit secretary Steve Barclay as the Brexit Party candidate in the North East Cambridgeshire seat at the general election last December.

But shortly before the election, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage axed more than 300 candidates contesting Tory-held seats, including North East Cambridgeshire.

An angry Mr Bullen, a retired RAF officer and marine engineer from Little Stukeley, launched county court proceedings in a bid to recover his out-of-pocket expenses in contesting the election.

Now the county court in Peterborough has supported his case and awarded him £575.15 in a hearing held by conference call because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Bullen said the Brexit Party did not take part and now had a court judgement against it.

He told the Hunts Post: “It was never about the money, it was a matter of principal.

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“Some time ago they refused to pay my expenses so I had no alternative to do what I did.”

He said: “I don’t feel victorious about it, I feel ambivalent really because I didn’t want it to come to this.”

Mr Bullen started proceedings against the party in the county court after writing to it last November giving seven days to repay the costs he said he incurred in launching his campaign in the constituency.

He said he, and other candidates, had been told at a meeting in Peterborough that the Brexit Party would pay their expenses with immediate effect - but no money had been forthcoming.

Mr Bullen had earlier told the Hunts Post that the decision to drop more than 300 candidates standing against Tories had been badly handled and that he had done a lot of hard work in preparing to fight the constituency.

The unexpected move was interpreted as being out of fear that standing in these seats could split the leave vote, cost the Tories an electoral victory and lead to a second Brexit referendum.

At the time a Brexit Party spokesman confirmed candidates had been told expenses would be paid, subject to approval, and that its procedures appeared to be being followed.

The Brexit Party has been asked to comment.