Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has been evicted from a £1.5million property belonging to his family’s company – and to pay costs – following a legal battle in which a High Court judge ruled that he had ‘lied’ under oath fined £800,000.
Bridgen, 57, has been embroiled in a long legal battle with AB Produce, which is being led by estranged younger brother Paul, 55.
The MP was formerly a board member of the Derbyshire-based family business, which supplies vegetables to caterers, and earned a second salary of £93,000 for attending monthly meetings.
Since 2015 he has been living rent-free with his wife Nevena, 42, and their son in a five-bedroom country house owned by the company in Coleorton, Leicestershire.
Bridgen insisted he was forced out of his position at AB Produce and spent years suing the company, reports The Times.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen (pictured with his wife Nevena) has been ordered to vacate his family home and pay £800,000 after a dispute with his brother’s company – in which a High Court judge ruled he was under oath ” lied”.
The five bedroom Old Vicarage in Coleorton, Leicestershire has a sauna, swimming pool and 5.5 acres of land. Bridgen and his wife, who are owned by family business AB Produce, lived at the property without charge from 2015 until they were evicted last month
But in a ruling announced last week, a judge conceded Bridgen and ordered him to pay £800,000 in legal costs after finding he had behaved “abusively”, “arrogantly” and “aggressively”. .
Far from being squeezed out, Judge Brian Rawlings found that Bridgen had voluntarily resigned from his board position to reduce his alimony payments to his first wife Jackie following their divorce.
Judge Rawlings also found that Bridgen had pressured a local police inspector into conducting a costly year-long investigation into his younger brother, making annoying allegations.
Bridgen and his family have been given a deadline of August 24 to vacate the property, the Old Vicarage, which is valued at around £1.5million. While living in the 18th-century house, which includes a sauna, swimming pool and 5.5 hectares of land, Bridgen also reportedly refused to pay rent or bills for water and electricity.
Bridgen Investments – a property company within the AB Produce portfolio – bought Bridgen’s house in 2012 for £1.5million, according to land registry documents.
In his ruling, High Court Judge Brian Rawlings found that Bridgen had voluntarily resigned from his £93,000 board position at AB Produce in order to reduce his alimony payments to his first wife Jackie following their divorce
He moved into the Old Vicarage in 2015 after divorcing his first wife Jackie, with whom he has two sons. It was previously her family home until they bought a luxury property with a swimming pool and tennis court for £2.1million in 2011, which they sold in 2015 after their split.
In addition to legal costs of £800,000 payable to AB Produce’s three shareholders, Bridgen could also be liable for £244,000 in rent arrears.
Bridgen, who earns an MP salary of £84,144, is said to have repaid the money he already owes, although the source of that funding is unknown and may still be under investigation.
Referring to the verdict earlier this year, he said “we live in an imperfect world” and said his lawyers would “explore all avenues regarding legal avenues to achieve a just outcome”.
He added: “If courts always got it right the first time, there would be no need for appeals mechanisms.”
According to parliamentary rules, any MP who receives a bankruptcy restraint order must resign. Bridgen could also be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for failing to explain that AB Produce pays its rent and utility bills.
The MP’s code of practice states that all “taxable expenses, gratuities and benefits such as company cars” should be declared, along with “financial assistance and sponsorship” and “gifts in kind”.
Bridgen’s office was contacted by MailOnline for comment.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11178213/Tory-MP-Andrew-Bridgen-ordered-1-5million-five-bed-family-home-800-000-costs.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Tory MP Andrew Bridgen ordered from a £1.5million five-bed detached house costing £800,000