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UKIP chairman sacked as magistrate after convictions revealed by Nation.Cymru

19 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Ben Walker

Martin Shipton

The UK “national chairman” of UKIP has been sacked as a magistrate after Nation.Cymru revealed that he had criminal convictions as a rogue builder.

In October 2023 we revealed how Ben Walker had been ordered to pay more than £11,000 after being found guilty of five breaches of building regulations at Bristol Magistrates Court in 2019. He was fined £2,000 for each conviction and in addition had to pay costs of £1,519.18 and a victim surcharge of £170. The case went ahead in his absence.

South Gloucestershire Council, of which he was previously a member, prosecuted Mr Walker – a builder trading as Monkeyfist Construction of Bradley Stoke, near Bristol – after he was found to have ignored building regulations and carried out unsatisfactory work at a property in Yate, South Gloucestershire.

The court heard that Mr Walker carried out building work to extend a property in Yate and had assured the homeowners that he could deliver the project within their budget before Christmas 2017. However, after some months, the homeowners noticed little progress given the length of time that had passed and the amount of money paid by them to the builder.

Building control

The homeowners sought the advice of an independent builder, which ultimately led to alerting South Gloucestershire Council’s building control team that no application had been made for the work. A number of serious failures were found with the construction design and build, which required significant remedial work to ensure the stability and weather resistance of the building.

Cllr Paul Hughes, South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member responsible for Communities and Tourism, said at the time: “This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring the correct route is followed when undertaking any building work. Construction is a complex arena where unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of customers’ unfamiliarity with legislation, and profit from cutting corners. If a contractor, homeowner or member of the public are not sure of their responsibilities then they should contact our building control team and we will offer help and guidance to all of our residents.”

It emerged, however, that Mr Walker had since been appointed as a magistrate.

Annual conference

A source contacted us when Mr Walker was due to chair UKIP’s annual conference in Newport, with details of his convictions and the fact that he was now putting the initials JP after his name, indicating that he was a Justice of the Peace, an alternative title for a magistrate. The source questioned how an individual who had been convicted of offences in court could become a magistrate.

We raised the matter with the Ministry of Justice and an inquiry was launched. Announcing the outcome, a spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: “The Lord Chancellor, with the Lady Chief Justice’s agreement, has removed Mr Ben Walker of the Gloucestershire bench from office for failing to disclose that he had been convicted of five offences in his application to join the magistracy, despite clear guidance in the application form to do so.

“Applicants to the magistracy are required to disclose any information that, if it became generally known, might bring the magistracy into disrepute or call into question their standing as a magistrate. This includes all cautions or convictions irrespective of when they were received.

“Mr Walker did not declare that he had been convicted of five offences in either the application form or at interview, despite being asked whether there was anything in his private life which could damage his credibility as a magistrate if it became known to the public.

“Mr Walker apologised for failing to disclose the information and said he had not sought to deceive or bring the judiciary into disrepute. He did not think that the matter for which he was fined amounted to a conviction, therefore, did not need to declare it.

“A chairman of the South West Region Conduct Advisory Committee considered the matter under the Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014 and recommended that Mr Walker should be removed from office. The Lord Chancellor and the Lady Chief Justice agreed.”

When we asked Mr Walker to comment last October, he took issue with the use of the word “convicted”, despite the fact that it was used by the local authority which prosecuted him.

He told us: “I was fined. Never convicted. If I was convicted, I would have a police/court record. I don’t. I certainly don’t advertise my position.”

He has been invited to comment about his dismissal as a magistrate.


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Paddy
Paddy
1 month ago

He didn’t even bother to turn up to his own trial.

No wonder he’s confused about whether he was convicted or not.

crofennog crofftwr
crofennog crofftwr
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

“Didn’t even bother to turn up”, or was afraid if he did the magistrates might refer him to Crown Court where he could face far more serious charges and even a custodial sentence as the Bristol Post speculated on Jan 21 2019?
Some may have wondered why his former tory councillor colleagues on South Glos, Council, who turned a blind eye allowed him to run amock for years with responsibilities for planning or building, softballed him?

The Bradley Stoker
The Bradley Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

Except, Ben Walker is not confused. He’s lying.
When his lips are moving, he’s lying.
From the article, we know Walker told the reporter, “I was fined. Never convicted. If I was convicted, I would have a police/court record.” – the first lie.
“I don’t, I certainly don’t advertise my position.” – the second lie.
First lie.
He does have exactly such a record, case 1800662169 in the Register of Somerset & Avon Court for 16/01/2019, covering five separate convictions. Police don’t record this because they did not refer these crimes to the CPS.

The Bradley Stoker
The Bradley Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

Instead it was his Conservative mates at S.Glos Council (SGC1) who were informants. Hushing it up so their own negligence at allowing the havoc he caused with Planning and Building Works as a councillor in BS for years wasn’t exposed? Could this be why he didn’t get charged for something even more serious to be disposed of at Crown Court where a jail sentence may have been likely?
Second lie.
Curious about the goings-on of the Bradley Stoke Cheat, when I read in this paper years ago that he and Hamilton seized control, I signed on to Ukip’s mail list.

The Bradley Stoker
The Bradley Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

Most Ukip emails were distortions, exaggerations, boasts, lies and lots of begging for money. But in three such emails he sent, dated 28/09/2023 13.10, 05/10/2023 08.21 and 13/10/2023 08.55, each signed by him and showing his photo, each has his boast of being a “JP” while being nothing to do with judicial business. The “JP” appears in five places, including three of them in big bold letters at their tops. So, another lie.
It could be that members of Ukip got more such “JP” emails. This too is a breach of regulations governing magistrates’ conduct.

The Bradley Stoker
The Bradley Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

With many reports of attempted bribery, blackmail, intimidation, perjury, tax infractions and other corrupt practices, he’s perfect as Ukip’s boss.
https://www.searchlightmagazine.com/?s=UKIP
Acorns don’t fall far from the oak, so not all his fault, he isn’t the only one from the brood with such tendencies.
Could he be raising his own brats the same way, to make it three generations of shiftless grifters?
But maybe there’s hope for them, if Walker’s poor fiancée reads what recently resigned Deputy Ukip leader Rebecca Jane tweeted at the end of January?

The Bradley Stoker
The Bradley Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Paddy

Jane told the world of Walker’s dishonesty and unfitness for offices of responsibility or integrity, giving evidence he’s a crude, persistent sex pest. If not a worse predator.
If the fiancée for whom Jane explicitly said she felt sorry dumped the loser, applied to court for sole custody and severely restricted his access, she might save her kids. She’d likely find she has many new supporters happy to meet legal costs.
Concern was also expressed about rape-victim Miss Zayna Iman, whom Walker befriended. He starred her at Ukip’s 2023 Newport conference.

crofennog crofftwr
crofennog crofftwr
1 month ago

Walker’s a bad ‘un, rotten to the core. As a magistrate, and the law is the same every where in England and Wales, I testify that the declarations one makes in the application process and again at the f2f interview are all UNDER THE PENALTY FOR PERJURY. Walker’s claimed lapses of knowledge are pre-posterous but even if he is as much of a retard as he looks and that he truly did not know what was published five times with the words “Convicted of ….” means he got convicted, ignorance of law is never an excuse or defence. This was… Read more »

Againe
Againe
1 month ago

tl;dr
If you are trying to get people to realise Ben Lee Walker is a crook, they already do.
Better to get people not to be intimidated by him and to understand why he has not yet been imprisoned

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago
cablestreet
cablestreet
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Thanks for that, what an absolute shower. Fancy calling Neil Hamilton a “liar and a cheat” Whatever next?

Againe
Againe
1 month ago
Reply to  cablestreet

I agree. It is absolutely shocking to call Neil merely that; it doesn’t begin to do him justice.
It understates his Machiavellian personality and his illustrious history of handing a super-majority to Tony Blair in 1997, of decimating UKIP Wales and now, through his tory peón Ben Lee, destroying UKIP itself.
You should be grateful for their services, cablestreet.

Wheels of Justice
Wheels of Justice
1 month ago
Reply to  cablestreet

Some are baffled by why Hamilton and Walker were never imprisoned for their numerous alleged lapses I’m not. Tories are good at suppressing scandals involving their own. Hamilton’s known ones are now so long ago he’s unfortunately got nothing to fear. But his puppy may not know we have a bulging file on him at Rushworth St, reaching back fifteen years, and new leaked material keeps coming in, his own party’s members and exmembers evidently hold him in the warmest of regards. This is an election year. It probably will end up as a lot less than the richly deserved… Read more »

Voice of Wells
Voice of Wells
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Leigh, that he is. I shall post here an explanation of the power structure of UKIP, which the whistleblowing ex deputy leader rightly described as “rotten to the core”.

Dalila
Dalila
1 month ago

Surely after this it’s time he put his tail between his legs and left UKIP before he totally disgraces himself and the party. He has caused untold damage to a once up and coming party for the people who had nearly 40,000 members and many thousands voting for them and he alone has reduced it to 50 members and NOBODY voting for them. So many, many good people betrayed by him.

Againe
Againe
1 month ago
Reply to  Dalila

Dalila What you characterise as disgracing himself is not looked at that way by the gent himself. Sabotaging UKIP, he served his tory masters well, and in return, enyoyed their protection under which he has conducted his financial and it appears sexual activities.. Will the day ever dawn when he is in the dock, proffering his fragile explanations that no one told him what “embezzlement” means, like he claimed to the JCIO he did not know what the word “convicted” meant? I doubt it. He’s a very rich man now, too. Has anyone explained to the youthful co-director Adam Snook… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

UKIP = bunch of thugs

royalblue1982
royalblue1982
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Worse. Read https://twitter.com/LadyDetectives1/status/1751722759627895030 and https://twitter.com/LadyDetectives1/status/1751755921401802884 and https://twitter.com/LadyDetectives1/status/1751743748441043229 I hope its mother is made to suffer for not drowning this monster at birth, instead she inflicted it on the world. As explained at https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/1advpiv/rebecca_jane_sutton_ukip_deputy_leader_until_20th it is all about parties being kept going purely to continue receiving inheritances from ex-members as they die off, UKIP’s membership was always elderly and now there’s been covid. It only takes a small fraction of the hundred thousand (?) ex members to leave their houses in their wills to get a nice windfall on a regular basis. So, a skeleton party structure is maintained at no… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

So do the panel who appoint Magistrates just take an applicants word for it?
Don’t they realize that when someone wants to sit in judgment on others there is likely to be somethng wrong with them to begin with?
God helo us if the police took the same stance – even with vetting there are still plenty of bad apples.

Tom W
Tom W
26 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

You are right, the vetting is grossly inadequate. But until you meet him, you won’t know what a persuasive liar he can be. He senses what you want to hear and tells you that. I took up their offer because of the promising picture of potential that he and Sir Cash For Questions painted. I got used. I realised it was my fault, what a fool they’d made of me, yes, I acknowledge it, I got suckered by a pair of accomplished, practised conmen. I quickly resigned. Now, I wouldn’t p**s on them if they were on fire. As for… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I’m not wholly surprised at this news. Ukip was a one-policy party that attracted some of the most vile extremists on the Conservative far-right as seen where numerous Ukip councilors & MEPs have been convicted of either corruption, fraud & racism as seen with former Ukip chairman Ben Walker sacked as a magistrate for his criminal past. It’s high time this dead party was buried because it’s stinking the place out.

Againe
Againe
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

There is no chance of a burial while there is the remotest chance of further large legacies to be “diverted” to where “they will do most good”. I heard it is something to do with a trust for a secret umbrella, but then the Party Treasurer was not selected and reappointed for his acuity. Or for anything else remotely positive. It is now one year and twelve days since Walker resigned as a director, while still purporting to be the Chairman and Sole Controller. Can’t be the original bent lawyer still guiding Walker, since he must comprehend “shadow director” as… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Seems ukip is the suitable place for him. How is Mr Hamilton by the way?

cablestreet
cablestreet
1 month ago

Is having a court conviction a prerequisite to being a “Kipper”?

Againe
Againe
1 month ago
Reply to  cablestreet

Perhaps not, but it appears to help. Especially if it is a relevant conviction, say involving Cheating, Fraud, Embezzlement, Drug-Dealing…..
Judging by UKIP’s list of speakers at its 2022 and 2023 national conventions, filled with empty, being done for Rape may also help, specially if one claims to be a man of the cloth.

Voice of Wells
Voice of Wells
1 month ago

The de jure leader (Hamilton) was not a problem in UKIP, except for his past. He did next to nothing. Most of his texts were written by one of the de facto leader’s floosies.
Deputy Rebecca Jane was fun and easy on the eye but politically naive, nowhere like leadership calibre, susceptible to flattery. It was never a secret why the de facto leader inserted her. I doubt she improved after I left; good for her for blowing the whistle on the sleazy scammer making the de jure leadership contingent upon sleeping with him. (c**t’d)

Voice of Wells
Voice of Wells
1 month ago

2 > By pure coincidence the same piece of work who’s the de facto leader happens also to be the de facto party treasurer. The de jure treasurer, an honorific appointment if ever there was one, is post-senile and is the biggest useful idiot, because if or when the fraud hits the proverbial fan, it is he who will be the first to get prosecuted and sued.
And the de facto leader is also the de facto party secretary, the Scottish fool couldn’t handle anything, and the faceless nameless useless general counsel is a bumbling child. (c**t’d)

Voice of Wells
Voice of Wells
1 month ago

3> The de facto leader is also the de facto general secretary, not the child Treasure who was smart enough to go the minute she saw the danger. Of course, never the Scottish fool.
The de facto leader, not the Scottish pair who pretend to run memberless NI, is also the de facto national campaign manager, which is how Courtenay’s papers were never filed in Wellingborough.
The de facto leader, not the young pretty clairvoyant psychic he imported, is the de facto patrons’ co-ordinator.
Any other positions? He de facto holds them too!

Voice of Wells
Voice of Wells
1 month ago

4> So who is this miracle non-worker, holding every single position of power in UKIP, and doing so perfectly illegitimately? Including the post of unelected undesirable unappointed unwanted unworthy unpalatable party chairman?

I will give you a clue as to his identity. He isn’t a magistrate any longer.
In addition to my letter of complaint, I believe the judicial appointments office received about fifty other furious protests, which is much more than the active membership of UKIP. (ended)

Please Mr Editor put these 4 comments in sequence, much obliged I’m sure.

ONGOING ACTION
ONGOING ACTION
1 month ago

UPDATE ABOUT ONGOING ACTION I’m an attorney based in NYC who, in an election year, has a vicarious interest in UKIP’s saga of scandals. In 2020, “UKIP” was almost a household name among political pundits. In England and Wales, applications for judicial appointments are made “under the penalty of perjury”, as it would be worded in the U.S. The Magistrates’ Association advised that the making of false statements, deliberately or recklessly, irrespective of whether in writing or orally, in such an application is a criminal offence attracting, upon conviction, a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment. Absent a defence, it… Read more »

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