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Dispute by sons over father's will which leaves his entire UK estate to BNP

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Jeremy and Simon Robson are locked in a legal battle after their father, Joseph Robson left his entire £389,000 UK estate to the British National Party.

His sons argue that their father was barred from giving money to a British political party because he had not been a registered UK voter in the five years before his death. But the BNP is battling against the sons’ case.

Joseph was born in Ashington in 1928 before moving to Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, when he divorced from Jeremy and Simon’s mother. Following his retirement he moved to Alicante.

He made a will in 1996, leaving all his worldly goods to the BNP, apart from a Spanish bank account containing just £135 to Jeremy.

Under rules introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour Government in 2000 to curb “foreign donations” to British political parties, Joseph was not entitled to make the gift, whether dead or alive.

Phillip Capon, for the sons, told the judge that the rules mean that Joseph effectively died intestate and that, despite his wishes, his whole fortune ought to be handed to the sons. Robert Grierson, representing the BNP argued that the party had successfully overcome the problem by executing a deed of variation to the will which would see the money paid into a specially set up charitable trust, rather than to the party directly.

The judge reserved his decision on the dispute until a later date.

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