Independent Tory banned from using old party logo in Bromsgrove

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Topic on Apr 21, 2010 09:31 AM

A life-long Conservative, who launched a new political party in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal, has been blocked from fighting the General Election in Bromsgove under the Tory's old flaming torch emblem.
Adrian Kriss

Following the launch of urgent legal action by David Cameron's Conservatives, Adrian Kriss has been forced to abandon the logo Margaret Thatcher fought her political battles under.

Mr Kriss is standing for the Bromsgrove Independent Conservative party. He acted when Julie Kirkbride, the constituency's disgraced former Conservative MP, stood down following the expenses scandal.

The Conservative Party constituency office in Bromsgrove had its window smashed as locals called for the resignation of Miss Kirkbride.

She and her husband, Bracknell MP Andrew MacKay, both announced that they would not seek re-election to Parliament after it emerged that they designated two separate houses as their "main property," allowing them to claim second-home expenses at different addresses.
The Conservative Party's previous logo

Mr Kriss's party was registered with the Electoral Commission on Tuesday last week, along with the torch emblem - a symbol used by the official Conservative Party for some 25 years.

The Tories under Mr Cameron replaced the torch with a logo based around a drawing of a tree.

Mr Kriss decided to reignite the extinguished torch, and it could have been used as his emblem on ballot papers at the pending general election.

The official Conservative Party discovered what was happening late last week and rushed to their lawyers to prevent that happening. They faced a deadline to take action of 4pm on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, Richard Price QC, appearing for the Conservatives, announced at the High Court that Mr Kriss had consented to a court order that the torch be removed from his party's register of emblems "forthwith", and from the electoral website.

Mr Price told Mr Justice Irwin, sitting in London, that the torch logo Mr Kriss was proposing to use was "absolutely identical" to the one used by the Conservative Party for something like 25 years. The party owned the copyright in the design, and it was a registered trade mark.

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