Leave.EU has been fined for breaking electoral rules

  • Leave.EU has been fined for breaking electoral rules

Leave.EU has been fined for breaking electoral rules

Following a lengthy investigation the Electoral Commission has concluded Leave.EU broke this reduced spending limit by at least £70,000 and possibly substantially more.

The commission said the "unlawful over-spend" was at least £77,380 but "may well have been considerably higher than that".

Damian Collins, chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said it would question question the Electoral Commission on Leave.EU's activities next week, with Banks and campaign chief Andy Wigmore appearing next month. Unable to produce a shred of evidence relating to the original allegations, they moved onto "campaign overspend and reporting errors".

In the United Kingdom fined the movement Leave.EU, which participated in the organization of a referendum on Brexit, the BBC reports.

But the commission said it found no evidence that controversial tech firm Cambridge Analytica had made donations or provided paid-for services, and its role was limited to "initial scoping work".

The commission said Leave.EU failed to include services it received from U.S. campaign strategy firm Goddard Gunster in a spending return.

"What a shambles. We will see them in court".

Leave.EU's has responded by pledging to challenge the fine in court, and noting the Commission's findings fell far short of the accusations originally leveled against them.

"The Electoral Commission is a "Blairite Swamp Creation" packed full of establishment "Remoaners", Banks said, using an epithet that Brexit supporters have coined for those, such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who have continued to campaign to remain in the European Union despite the referendum. Leave.EU reported spending of 693,094 pounds, 6,906 pounds under the spending limit.

Specifically, they say services Leave.EU received from a US campaign strategist Goddard Gunster had been missed off accounts and three loans were "inaccurately reported".

"The EC went big game fishing and found a few "aged" dead sardines on the beach. So much for the big conspiracy", Banks said.

"Finally, Leave.EU failed to provide the required invoice or receipt for 97 payments of over £200, totalling £80,224". The official campaign designation allowed Vote Leave to spend up to 7 million pounds in weeks prior to referendum, while Leave.EU, as a secondary campaign group, could only spend a maximum of 700,000 during entire process. The report also suggests that the Cambridge Analytica boss, Alexander Nix, overstated his company's association with Leave.EU in public, in the hope of winning business from the campaign group.

The punishment could prompt calls for a review of election funding law, given it is relatively small for a campaign that also spent millions of pounds in the unregulated pre-referendum period.