Tory MP locked in High Court battle with HMRC over unpaid taxes


Adam Afriyie has been involved in a long-running dispute with HMRC relating to businesses he used to be involved with (Picture: Getty)

A Conservative MP’s legal battle over unpaid taxes is rumbling on.

Adam Afriyie, who has represented Windsor since 2005, is locked in a dispute with HMRC.

The 56-year-old is being pursued for unpaid taxes relating to the past business career which made him a multi-millionaire.

Mr Afriyie was involved in several enterprises prior to his career in elected politics, including IT firm Connect Support Services, political information company DeHavilland and marketing business Axonn.

His financial troubles were first reported in 2019 after it emerged he was challenging a HMRC order in the High Court.

At the time, a spokesperson said the matter arose from ‘complex business reasons related to Adam’s several residual business interests’.

They added it was triggered when Axonn Media went into administration earlier in the year but said ‘it’s likely that it will be dismissed as part of the ongoing negotiation with HMRC or when an agreement is reached’.

But according to The Guardian, the case is rumbling on and a petition has been filed against the MP.

The Windsor MP has committed to paying any taxes he owes (Picture: PA)

MPs declared bankrupt do not automatically forfeit their seat but they do if they are made subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order.

The measures are imposed when ‘the official receiver thinks you have been dishonest or are to blame for your debts’.

There is no reason to believe Mr Afriyie is facing such an order or imminent bankruptcy, but that outcome would pose a major political headache for Boris Johnson who is already facing a glut of unexpected elections.

The prime minister is planning for two by-elections following the resignation of Owen Paterson from his North Shropshire seat amid a sleaze scandal and in Old Bexley and Sidcup after the death of James Brokenshire.

There will also be a by-election in the seat left vacant after the murder of Sir David Amess but that will not be contested by the other major parties out of respect.

Labour MP Claudia Webbe is appealing her conviction for threatening to throw acid in someone’s face but, should her efforts fail, there could also be a by-election in Leicester East next year.

If the conviction is upheld, Mr Webbe is likely to be subject to a recall petition, which is triggered if 10% of constituents demand a by-election.

First elected in 2005, Mr Afriyie was once tipped as a future leader of the party (Picture: Rex)

The appeal data is set for March, meaning there is just about enough time for any by-election to be held on local election day in May should it fail.

A spokesperson for Afriyie said: ‘The petition arises for complex reasons related to Adam’s past business interests. 

‘Negotiations have been ongoing for several years and the petition is subject to legal challenge as his advisers are working towards reaching an agreement.’

Mr Afriyie said: ‘I will of course pay any tax that is due.’

A spokesperson for HMRC declined to comment on the ongoing proceedings.

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