Re Robson Deceased, sub nom White v Matthys and others


Area of law:

Alex Troup

21 June 2017

This case raises the novel issue of whether a testamentary gift in favour of a political party (in this case, the British National Party), made by an English person resident abroad but not registered on the electoral register prior to his death, is invalidated by Part IV of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The Judge, Mr Richard Sheldon QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, held that the gift was invalid. Further, whilst the BNP had attempted to avoid this conclusion by executing a Deed of Variation of the testator’s will in favour of a widely drafted charitable trust, the Judge held that the charitable trust could not be in any better position than the BNP itself. The consequence was that the gift failed and passed to the testator’s two sons on intestacy.