MP made bankrupt due to £1.7m of Personal debt

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MP made bankrupt due to personal debt

Conservative MP Adam Afriyie has been made bankrupt after a judge heard he owed around £1m to HMRC and £700,000 to Barclays bank.

A bankruptcy order was made against the MP at a hearing in the Insolvency and Companies Court on Tuesday.

The Windsor MP had already announced he would be standing down at the next election, saying with Brexit “concluded” it was the “right time”.

Responding to the court order, Mr Afriyie said it was “a stressful time”.

“This has been ongoing for many years following business failures some time ago.

“I am ultimately responsibly for some of the bank borrowing through personal guarantee. I’ve been trying to sell our home and downsize for some time, but it’s a tough market.

“It’ll be tough for a while, but I’m far from the only person in a difficult position, and I will continue to do my best to support my constituents until the next general election when I’ll be standing down.”

Mr Afriyie had asked for the court proceedings to be adjourned until March arguing he would be able to pay off his debts by selling off a property.

However, HMRC and Barclays opposed pausing the case, with the bank’s barrister arguing that the company had “lost patience” adding: “We have seen no credible evidence that the property will be sold any time soon.”

Judge Nicolas Briggs agreed concluding: “There have been six hearings already of this matter so time really has run out.

“I shall make a bankruptcy order. It seems to me there is no evidence of there being any reasonable prospects of paying debts in full.”

Windsor Conservative Association have declined to comment.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson hit the headlines last year when it emerged he had an unpaid CCJ

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Does an MP have to stand down if they are declared bankrupt?

The bankruptcy order does not mean Mr Afriyie has to step down as an MP.

The parliamentary rule book, Erskine May, says that an MP is disqualified from the House of Commons if they receive a bankruptcy restrictions order.

A bankruptcy order is different from a bankruptcy restrictions order, which can be made if the official receiver thinks a person’s conduct has been “dishonest, reckless or otherwise culpable”.

Mr Afriyie has confirmed he has not received such an order.

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Mr Afriyie has represented the Berkshire constituency since 2005 and during that time has served as a shadow science minister and a trade envoy to Ghana.

He stood down from that role when the UK-Ghana bilateral trade deal was secured.

In 2013, there were reports MPs were working on a campaign to replace David Cameron with Mr Afriyie as Conservative leader, if the party lost the 2015 election.

However, Mr Afriyie insisted at the time there was “no truth” to the rumours and that he was “100% supportive” of Mr Cameron.

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