Ah, here’s the link

The Sage of Ely:

Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft has settled his libel action over a website claim that his companies offered banking facilities which helped customers unlawfully to evade tax.

Lord Ashcroft, the chairman and majority shareholder in BB Holdings Limited, accepted a public apology and a substantial undisclosed donation to a charity he founded – Crimestoppers – from accountant Richard Murphy.

Lord Ashcroft’s counsel, Godwin Busuttil, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court that in April this year Murphy published an article on his website entitled “Lord Ashcroft’s Belize Bank – a supplier of tax evasion services?”

It accused the claimants of knowingly and intentionally supplying or offering to supply banking facilities which enabled or assisted customers unlawfully to evade tax and which provided anonymity for those who had indulged in criminal activity and which enabled or assisted the laundering of dishonestly or criminally acquired funds by using the Bank’s corporate credit cards.

Busuttil said Murphy, of Downham Market, Norfolk, appeared to have based his allegations on his understanding of what he had read on a third party’s website, but that in fact that website said no such thing and its owners had subsequently confirmed that they were not making any such allegations nor were they even referring to the claimants.

An accusation of tax evasion based upon something he’d misunderstood.

19 thoughts on “Ah, here’s the link”

  1. “An accusation of tax evasion based upon something he’d misunderstood.”

    With Murphy, there is no other kind, than “something he’d misunderstood.”

    I seriously wonder if the gentleman is dyslexic ?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    It says he represented himself in court, add the law to the list of his expertise. I wonde he he corrected the judge at any stage?

  3. That explains the recent move to that jewel of British domestic architecture in which he now resides…..

  4. abacab,

    Does it? A charity donation, even a substantial one, in 2009 causing a move in 2016?

    Perhaps he had to cash in an endowment policy or something early, but I think we are being rather speculative here.

  5. bloke (temporarily not) in spain

    I would imagine it’s highly possible he borrowed the money to discharge the libel obligation. And he’s been carrying the debt in the expectation his star was rising in certain circles & he expected to be awarded well paid positions.
    In 2009 he would have been expecting a Labour election victory in 2010. He would have been expecting the same in 2015.
    Nothing substantial’s materialised & even Murphy’s obliged to live in the real world. The magic money tree doesn’t cover his debt costs

  6. I seriously wonder if the gentleman is dyslexic?

    He’s on the autistic ‘spectrum’ and should therefore be immune from legal action.

  7. To be honest, I cannot think of any genuine financial disastereo that would necessitate the move from that millionaire’s pad to this ordinary house. Which causes me to wonder if this place in Ely is nothing more than a postal address for the business, his real new home being elsewhere.

    Whilst he is very keen on transparency for others, he is not so willing to accept it himself. Sorry folks.

  8. Interchanging ‘evasion’ with ‘avoidance’ was always going to bite him on the arse, yet he is still doing it.

  9. That is exquisite, I missed this one back in ’09. I wonder if the judge was candidly accused of sophistry at any point during proceedings? 😀

  10. PeteC

    You are the late lamented Murphy Richards, and I claim a cash settlement of my libel action against you.

  11. On Ritchie’s blog today:

    “This blog is not my whole life. It is not my main job. It is something that fits in.”

    I thought the grants he received were to cover him doing this full time?
    Also, he’s comparing himself to Michael Collins. Words fail me…

  12. ‘Lord Ashcroft has settled his libel action’

    Is there any information on how much he got? I should expect Murphy to be ruined financially.

  13. Libel settlements are a lot smaller than they used to be. I’d have thought 30k, something of that order.

    The painful thing would have been the Ashcroft’s costs – they could easily have gone to £200k+, especially since I very much doubt Murphy caved immediately.

    Blusterers gonna bluster, after all – until the High Court forces them to shut the fuck up and hand over the wedge.

    Have you ever popped a balloon? I imagine that was what it was like.

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