BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 13 September, 2002, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Dame Shirley misses 27m deadline
Shirley Porter
Dame Shirley is challenging the ruling
Disgraced former council leader Dame Shirley Porter has failed to pay any money towards a 27m surcharge for her part in the "homes for votes" scandal.

Westminster Council confirmed on Friday the deadline for payment of the legal penalty had passed and nothing had been received.

This was in spite of the fact the 71-year-old Tesco heiress, who moved to Israel in the mid-1990s, has declared assets of 300,000 worldwide.

Last year the Law Lords ruled Dame Shirley should pay more than 26m for her role in the "homes for votes" affair in the 1980s.

Fight ruling

It was claimed the former Westminster Council leader had sold council houses to Tory voters to try to boost the party's election prospects.

However, she alleges that she was unfairly treated by an investigation into the affair and that the hearing relied on evidence that was "unfair and prejudicial".


The council is committed to pursuing the debt vigorously

Westminster Council spokesman

Dame Shirley, whose fortune was once estimated at 7m, is fighting the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights claiming she was denied a fair and impartial hearing.

Westminster Council said on Friday it was determined to "vigorously" pursue the debt but the chances of recovering the money were "dwindling".

A council spokesman said: "The council will consider all avenues in pursuing payment, although enforcement against assets located outside this country's jurisdiction is not, of course, straightforward.

"Nevertheless, the council is committed to pursuing the debt vigorously.

'Unfair evidence'

"Although bearing in mind the relatively limited value of assets disclosed, any substantial recovery of the surcharge is likely to depend upon whether assets transferred by Dame Shirley in the past can be pursued."

The council says the money is due despite any European action being taken by Dame Shirley.

A confidential report on the issue is due to be considered by the council next month.


Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

28 Dec 01 | England
13 Dec 01 | England
30 Apr 99 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes