UK's official Brexit campaign fined, referred to police

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 17, 2018

Britain's Electoral Commission said on Tuesday it had fined the officially designated pro-Brexit campaign group 61,000 pounds ($106,065 Cdn) for breaching spending rules in the 2016 referendum and referred it to the police.

The Electoral Commission published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of Vote Leave and found "significant evidence" of coordination with another campaign group, BeLeave.

Vote Leave was fined $106,065 and the Electoral Commission referred two people to the police for false declarations of campaign spending.

The watchdog found Vote Leave, the group designated for championing the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, broke electoral laws through "joint work" with another campaign group, BeLeave. "Where a lead campaigner is working together with other campaign groups, all the spending will count towards the lead campaigner's total and needs to fall within the £7 million limit".

The report said the BeLeave group, which was founded by fashion student Darren Grimes, spent more than £675,000 with Aggregate IQ, a Canadian digital political advertising company, under a "common plan" with Vote Leave.

Mr Posner said: "Vote Leave has resisted our investigation from the start, including contesting our right as the statutory regulator to open the investigation".

The Electoral Commission carried out an initial assessment of the arrangements early previous year, but found no evidence of wrongdoing.

"It has refused to cooperate, refused our requests to put forward a representative for interview, and forced us to use our legal powers to compel it to provide evidence.

All this suggests tha thae supposedly impartial commision is motivate by a political agenda rather than uncovering the facts".

The spokesman said there were "a number of false accusations and incorrect assertions that are wholly inaccurate and do not stand up to scrutiny".

The breaches were "serious" Posner said, adding that parliament had put the laws in place to ensure fairness and transparency at elections and referendums. "Nevertheless, the evidence we have found is clear and substantial, and can now be seen in our report", he added.

'Politicians from all parties have a duty to ask: do we want to continue with a policy that will wreck our economy and consume government for the next decade, based on this flimsy result?'

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