Berkshire

Windsor Tory election candidate Adam Afriyie in bankruptcy action

Adam Afriyie Image copyright Conservative Party
Image caption Mr Afriyie has been MP for Windsor for 14 years

A Conservative Party candidate standing for MP in the general election is facing bankruptcy proceedings.

Adam Afriyie, 54, who has been Windsor's MP since 2005, is challenging an HMRC petition over unpaid tax due to be heard in the High Court in January.

A spokeswoman for Mr Afriyie said the petition had arisen due to "complex business reasons".

Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

Being subject to bankruptcy proceedings does not disqualify an individual from standing as an MP, according to parliamentary rules.

However, anyone subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order in England or Wales or a debt relief restrictions order - upon being declared bankrupt - would not be eligible to stand.

A spokeswoman for the Tory candidate said: "The petition arises for complex business reasons related to Adam's several residual business interests.

"The petition is subject to legal challenge and it's likely that it will be dismissed as part of the ongoing negotiations with HMRC or when an agreement is reached."

She added the petition was triggered when one of the firms involved, Axonn Media Ltd, was placed in administration earlier this year.

Airbnb rental

Separately, the Daily Mirror has reported Mr Afriyie's home in Old Windsor is being rented out on Airbnb for £1,900 a night.

Mr Afriyie paid £4m for the house in 2008 and it is owned solely in his name, according to Land Registry records.

According to parliamentary rules, MPs must declare any rental income above £10,000 in a calendar year on Parliament's register of members' interests.

However, Mr Afriyie said: "There's no requirement to declare my private homes in the register of members' interests because I have never claimed parliamentary expenses for them nor received rental income from them.

"However, I'll be checking with the registrar when Parliament returns in December and will, of course, update it if needed."

A spokesperson for Mr Afriyie said CCHQ and the Windsor Conservative Association were aware of the newspaper story.

HMRC's bankruptcy petition is due to be heard in the High Court on 15 January.

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