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.