UKIP MEP could face bankruptcy after failing to pay damages to Rotherham MPs

By Sam Cooper | 10/05/2017

UKIP MEP could face bankruptcy after failing to pay damages to Rotherham MPs
Jane Collins

UKIP MEP Jane Collins could face bankruptcy after she failed to pay damages to Rotherham’s three MPs over libellous remarks she made about the town’s child abuse scandal.

Ms Collins was ordered to pay £358,000 in damages and costs in February after being sued by Kevin Barron, John Healey and Sarah Champion for libel and slander.

She appeared in court in Hull on Monday after failing to pay up.

Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for Ms Collins said she could be made bankrupt if she cannot make the payments owed.

Ms Collins claimed in a 2014 conference speech — months before she stood for election as MP for Rotherham — that the MPs knew about child exploitation in the town but did nothing to intervene and failed in a court bid to prove she was entitled to MEP’s immunity.

The claims came just a month after a report found that at least 1,400 children in the borough were abused between 1997 and 2013.

Ms Collins was ordered to pay a total of £162,000 in damages to the MPs and £120,000 towards the £196,000 legal bill within 21 days, but failed to do so.

She appeared at Hull County Court to discuss a demand for payment issued by the MPs’ lawyers.

Her spokesman said the judge had now ordered that an examination of her assets should take place before June 8.

Speaking after the damages hearing, Ms Champion said that if the MPs did receive any money it would be “fabulous to give some of it to children’s charities, in particular those that work with survivors of abuse”.

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