Electoral Commission sued in High Court over EU Referendum

What follows is the text of a Press Release issued last night.

***

The Good Law Project has initiated proceedings in the High Court to establish whether the Electoral Commission failed in its duty to uphold UK election law during the EU Referendum. The Good Law Project is asking the Court to find that the Electoral Commission was wrong to clear overspending by the official Vote Leave campaign.

The case concerns a donation of £625,000 apparently made by Vote Leave to one of its “outreach groups” in the days before the Referendum vote. If that donation was included in Vote Leave’s spending return, Vote Leave would have overspent by almost 10% and would have committed a criminal offence.

If the action succeeds the Electoral Commission will be forced to reopen its investigation. And it is very likely that either a public or private prosecution of Vote Leave will follow.

The Electoral Commission has until 13 November to respond. The Good Law Project has asked for a full hearing before the end of the calendar year.

Jo Maugham QC, Founder and Director of the Good Law Project, said:

“If our democracy is to function properly the Electoral Commission must do its job carefully and diligently. I cannot see how any public body looking at these facts and taking the law into account could conclude that Vote Leave had not overspent.”

The Claim Form filed before the High Court can be seen here and the supporting witness statement here.  The Good Law Project’s letter before action can be seen here and the Defendant’s response can be seen here.

The costs of the case are funded by an ongoing Crowd Funding campaign which has so far raised over £45,000 and can be seen here.

45 thoughts on “Electoral Commission sued in High Court over EU Referendum

  1. Pingback: Electoral Commission sued in High Court over EU Referendum | Waiting for Godot – leftwingnobody

  2. Pingback: Electoral Commission sued in High Court over EU Referendum – The ramblings of a former DWP Civil Servant …

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  4. Good luck Jolyon & Co – I hope that you succeed – I really do.

  5. Lots of luck .. I really hope you succeed .. !!!

  6. Thanks for the post

  7. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    Blatant dishonesty and undue influence mean the Leave campaign was distorted beyond recognition in many respects.

  8. Also what about the Tory expenses in the last election. Sorry, this commission is government compliant, and is in thrall with Westminster. Another devious government toothless entity.

    Whatever happend to the “dark money” which bankrolled the NI Brexit campaign? er nothing it seems.

    Continual breaking of purdah in the Scottish referendum, again they turned their backs.

    I am happy they are being taken to court, but it will not address all the misgivings they have done. I wish someone would sort them out and expose their actions across the board.

    If people think they live in a democracy, they are delusional, we are all living in a growing fascist state.

  9. Clearly toothless, or at least disinterested, in election/referendum spending wrong-doing, is the Electoral Commission fit for purpose in any regard? How is it credible for post-election counts to conveniently ‘find’ an apparently misplaced bunch of ballot papers during a 3rd recount? Whilst I couldn’t offer any evidence of abuse, I was surprised by the, for me, unexpectedly large volumes of postal votes that I saw being handed in to the polling station I was ‘telling’ outside (apparently from nearby nursing homes). Each of these – and I’m sure more besides – might be expected in dictatorships as caricatured in Africa or South America but appear worryingly commonplace in England.

  10. Pingback: Public interest advocacy in action in the U.K. – a model for the BOTs? – Bermuda Legal

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  12. We seem to be forgetting that the Government mobilised the civil service behind the Remain campaign and spent large sums of public money on it too. What is the Electoral Commission doing about that?

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