Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Wilson-mainWhistleblower stands as independent candidate

Then there were five – when nominations for the snap general election closed last week there were five candidates: Labour, LibDem, Tory, Ukip and an independent. The independent is whistleblower Nicholas Wilson who is standing on an anti-corruption ticket. Nick Terdre reports.

Earlier this year Nicolas Wilson won what the Guardian newspaper described as his “David and Goliath battle” with HSBC bank after a 13-year campaign as a lone whistleblower against financial fraud in the financial sector. That victory has resulted in HSBC “voluntarily” paying back £4 million to around 6,700 customers.

Though a wrong has been righted, Mr Wilson has not profited personally from this campaign – in fact he says he is unemployable and forced to live off benefits. Nevertheless, he is taking his anti-corruption battle into the electoral arena, “to highlight the devastating effect financial and other corruption is having on the lives of everyone in the country, and the failure of all the main political parties to tackle the issue.”.

Corruption affects everybody

“I am campaigning at this election as an anti-corruption candidate because corruption affects everybody,” Mr Wilson said. “As a constituency that contains among some of the most deprived areas in the whole country, the people of Hastings and Rye feel the effects of financial corruption keenly every day, with cuts to their local health, social care and education services year after year. It is time people really understood how this issue is impacting on their lives.”

On his website Mr Wilson gives details of what he sees as corruption in seven areas: education, transport, housing, banking, whistleblowing, housing and environment.

On the environment Mr Wilson turns his fire on MP Amber Rudd who in her former job as energy and climate change minister granted planning permission for a “controversial” gas storage facility to Halite Energy Group. The company was represented by Finsbury, a PR and lobby company headed by Ms Rudd’s brother Roland Rudd.

“Our MP did not declare this conflict of interest,” Mr Wilson writes. Shortly after the story broke in mid 2015, Ms Rudd put an entry in the Parliamentary register of interests acknowledging her brother’s position. She now has no comment to make, her office told HOT.

Housing shortage

On housing, he draws attention to the shortage of affordable homes in the constituency. “I believe that homes should be for living in and not just seen as yet another commodity to build, buy or sell for profit. I will fight for more affordable and social housing in Hastings and Rye and against the corruption which blights so many developments and the communities they are built in,” he writes.

Mr Wilson’s own experiences inform his remarks on whistleblowing. “The problem I have encountered in my campaign has been the regulators: Solicitors Regulation Authority, Financial Services Authority, Financial Conduct Authority and the Legal Services Board, all of whom have sought to cover-up or minimise the fraud.

“Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) whistleblowers are required to report their concerns to a ‘prescribed person’ i.e. a regulator. But if the regulators don’t regulate there is no point in blowing the whistle.” He outlines the reforms he believes are necessary if whistleblowers are to be able to lift the lid on corruption and financial crime.

Mr Wilson lost his job for blowing the whistle on HSBC. His former bosses named him Mr Ethical because he refused to defraud people. He has been fighting corruption under this name ever since.

The chips are down - Nicholas Wilson outside HSBC.

The chips are down – Nicholas Wilson outside HSBC.


“The result of my whistleblowing is that I have become unemployable,” Mr Wilson said. “I have only been able to continue my anti-corruption campaigning for all these years due to the generosity of people making personal donations towards my work. I understand from long personal experience the problems and indignities that people on low or no incomes in Hastings and Rye face every day in a way that our current MP never will.

“I am the only parliamentary candidate standing on an anti-corruption platform. Voting for me will help to bring about a change to the system, as I will relentlessly challenge wrongdoing in parliament just as I have been doing against HSBC.”

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Posted 20:41 Monday, May 15, 2017 In: Election 2017


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Keith Piggott


    Today, Manchester bomber changes everything, the 2017 general election watershed moment. Give this Home Secretary free rein to root out IS… or would you prefer Diane Blabbott’s hands on the tiller?

    Keith Piggott

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 09:00

  2. Keith Piggott

    He should wear a ‘white suit’, it worked for Martin Bell.

    My vote must go towards Brexit, I’m a europhile but not a EU-rophile.

    Yet I have reservations about a former Energy Secretary whom I alerted to HBC’s outsourced ‘Development’ Plan’s “renewable energy” that didn’t mention Hastings’ potential for wave or tidal power; and an MP then Home Secretary I alerted to partisan policing also moonlighting officers unlawfully acting for developers’ against residents; who took no visible action.

    Yet at 75 I know that is politics, coloured flags and repeated mantras are all. When electorate has spoken we’re done, then the corporate lobbyists reshape governments to protect capital from tax depredation and to open ministerial doors.

    Now, if ‘white suits’ stood in every constituency that could be an irresistible movement.

    Keith Piggott (tic)

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 21:26

  3. Richard Heritage

    As I see it he would be the ideal person for the borough. He could certainly get his teeth into the council.

    It could be like a deja vu of what he uncovered at HSBC.

    Comment by Richard Heritage — Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 18:02

  4. Patrick Burton

    I have had the pleasure of occasionally meeting Mr Wilson over several years. I have great respect for his sincerity and persistance. It is clear, as reported in the Hastings Independent, that an amazing miracle would be needed to unseat Amber Rudd. As an ex-Labour member,local canvaser and ‘lifelong voter’, I will stongly consider voting for this principled person

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 17:13

  5. Peter Cordwell

    Dear HOT,

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr Wilson – ‘Mt Ethical’ online – and have the utmost respect for him and his campaign.
    It’s a dreadful irony of the age that whistleblowers like Snowden and indeed Mr Wilson have to suffer for their bravery rather than being lauded for it.
    I hope the good people of Hastings and Rye have the nous to vote for him in great numbers, either as a ground-breaking protest vote or as their next MP. Why not? If you had to choose between Amber Rudd and Mr Wilson as human beings, it would be a landslide in his favour.
    My wife and I will be voting Labour in Lewisham East but if Mr E. was standing here he would have to have our vote.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Cordwell
    07889 867216

    Comment by Peter Cordwell — Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 07:54

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