BHETA member Charles Harrison, who is threatening to publish confidential association material, has failed in his bid to have the association’s injunction against him lifted.
This latest chapter in the row between Harrison and the British Home Enhancement Trade Association is over three private emails between association Board members that have come into his possession.
Harrison believes the content should be made available to members generally ahead of the association’s proposed merger with the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation. But last week BHETA took out a restraining injunction against him.
Now, following a hearing yesterday in the Royal Court of Justice, Harrison has been ordered to pay £10,000 in costs relating to the injunction by July 29. However, we understand that BHETA applied for costs of almost double that figure – £19,509 – and that Harrison has today been put on notice by BHETA’s solicitors that the association will seek to recover the rest of the money.
This morning, Harrison told HousewaresLive.net: “It’s a bit of a bugger, but I can’t complain because I knew the risk when I refused to give an undertaking not to publish the emails. At least I’m not asking anybody else to pay. I hope the BHETA Board tell the members how much of their money has been spent.”
BHETA’s move against Harrison has prompted a storm of protest in the industry. Comments posted on HousewaresLive.net include calls for a change of leadership at BHETA, along with accusations of inappropriate use of association funds in taking out the injunction, and cover-ups by the Board.
However, Max Crosby-Browne, a non-executive director on the BHETA Board, posted a comment on Tuesday in which he stated that “the famous emails which are the subject of the recent injunction are simple discussions between Board members about the levels of savings available and the different cost centres involved [in relation to the proposed merger]”.
Charles Harrison, meanwhile, has told HousewaresLive.net that he rejects Crosby-Browne’s description of the emails’ content.
Harrison is expected to give a further statement to HousewaresLive.net later today.