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Boris Johnson to face court over alleged Brexit campaign misconduct

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Private prosecution brought following successful crowdfunding campaign

Credit: Wiki Commons

Prime Minister hopeful Boris Johnson is to be summoned to court to face allegations he lied in the run-up to the Brexit referendum by saying the UK gave the EU £350 million a week.

Sitting at Westminister Magistrates Court, district judge Margot Coleman today ruled that the Conservative leadership candidate can be summoned to face accusations of misconduct in public office. The decision comes after campaigner Marcus Ball launched a private prosecution against Johnson, having successfully crowdfunded over £230,000 to help cover legal costs.

In a written decision (in full below), judge Coleman said:

“The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact. Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted. The charges are indictable only.”

Judge Coleman went on to explain that Johnson will be required to attend Westminster Magistrates Court for a preliminary hearing. “The case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial”, she added. A court date has not yet been announced.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

Reacting to the news, barrister Andrew Keogh (tweeting as CrimeLine) explained that there was still a “VERY long way to go”, with a judicial review of the decision to issue a summons the likely next step for Johnson. “Given summer holidays etc, this single stage unlikely to be resolved much before end of this year at the earliest”, Keogh explained.

Ball is represented by Bankside Commercial Solicitors and barristers Lewis Power QC, Colin Witcher and Anthony Eskander, while Johnson has reportedly called on the services of QEB Hollis Whiteman’s Adrian Darbishire QC.

Read the ruling in full below:

42 Comments

Anonymous

Uh oh BoJo

Anonymous

VOTE LEAVE

TAKE BACK CONTROL

WINNING SO HARD

NO DEAL

NO DEAL

Anonymous

Wasteoftime.com

Bags

Massive LOB. No way is this getting off the ground. Bojo4PM BREXIT GIRFUY.

Anonymous

And Derbishire is the bollocks and the prosecution lot are a gang of losers.

Anonyman

Remainers will do anything in order to try and claim the moral high ground. SAD!

Anonymous

Being against lying automatically qualifies one as trying to claim the ‘moral highground’?

Or are you just saying that because you are one of those people who use any argument to attack members of the opposing political tribe and defend those of your own?

Anonymous

*their

Anonyman

I’m not trying to say that the Vote Leave camp was right to use the NHS reference in the campaign. But the Remain camp has been incessantly going on about ‘muh NHS’ and ‘raaaacist liars’ etc. It’s all rather tedious.

SAD!

Anonymous

Good point. I’m persuaded.

So when shall we start proceedings against George Osborne for his reprehensible lie that a Leave vote would crash the economy so badly that an emergency budget would be necessary?

Oh what’s that? You don’t actually care about politicians lying when they’re on your side?

Funny that…

Anonyman

What Leave voter is a fan of George Osborne? He’s SAD.

Whatever

Except that Osborne’s comments were a statement of opinion on the future as opposed to the £350 million being a blatant lie. It was factually incorrect at the time it was made and Boris knew, or should have known, that this was the case.

TrueInFact.

As “Whatever” pointed out above, a prediction of a future event (and a possible outcome) is not similar or comparable to an actual lie. The actual lie is wrong because it is false, whereas the prediction was not true or false at the time, it having the potential to become true or false only once the event occurred and the outcome was the same or not the same as the outcome predicted. This is the difference.

Anonymous

I’m not on a political ‘side’. I am simply addressing the irrationality prevalent in political discourse (which you, too, acknowledge exists with your ungrounded presumption that I was simply using the argument to attack a Brexiteer- ungrounded unless we regard the instinct of a Brexiteer tribesman as grounding).

Sally from accounts

When will we likely know the date of the hearing?

Anonymous

🍿

Urban Bumpkin

FBPE Twitter has spilled over into real life. What a mad world we live in.

Anonymous

Anonymous

I am just going to throw it out there, but I think Tony Blair’s lies about weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East were slightly worst! Can you re-direct some of your funds that way?

Acer

You might want to check out “Parliamentary privilege”

Anonymous

You might want to check out all the times Blair repeated that lie when outside Parliament…

Anonymous

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster” – Boris Johnson

Anonymous

He didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose him.

Anonymous

Dominic Raab is gorgeous. How do I get a training contract at Linklaters?

Anonymous

I think we should bring back trial by ordeal. I’d like to see BoJo having to plunge his arm into boiling oil, then his innocence or guilt being determined by the heat marks.

Anonymous

BoJo is Thanos so I’m sure even boiling oil is no match for him

Anonymous

the man who claims he is a detail guy because he was a lawyer. Yet confessed, whilst Brexit secretary, that he didn’t appreciate the importance of the Dover port for UK trade.Oh dear….

Anonymous

Raab is purest evil. Darth Raab.

Anonymous

Wouldnt it be nice if someone somewhere had had to produce the weekly figure that we supposedly gave the EC in actual fact, as part of the argument ?

Then we could see how far adrift Boris and his team allegedly were.

Steven Seagull

More remainer nonsense. This will only increase Boris’ popularity, and hopefully he can get on with delivering Brexit.

Deliveroo Driver

‘ I’ve got dis like big box and it says Brexit but I can’t find your address and the box stinks of shit bruv

Anonymous

For people like Boris there really is no such thing as bad publicity.

Anonymous

Exactly. He’s like Trump. When you say you like to ‘grab p*ssy’ and get away with it you know there’s something wrong with society.

Anonymous

I think it is more that there is something wrong with the political system. The reality is that there are very few genuinely good politicians that are actually in it to make a difference.

Anonymous

If he was charged with being a cunt he would have to plead guilty.

Realistic remainer

If we’re prosecuting people for things said during the campaign, why aren’t those who predicted a financial meltdown if the country voted leave also being prosecuted?

Lies and scaremongering happened on both sides.

TrueInFact

Because a prediction is different from a claim relating to a current state of affairs. A prediction of an event or outcome cannot be false at the time, because the truth of the statement is only determined once the outcome is decided. The time between the prediction and the outcome acts as insulation. Claiming that something is true as of now, when it isn’t, is not the same as making a prediction of economic decline.

Anonymous

TrueInFact: May 30 2019 3:08am – I wouldn’t waste your time trying to explain such differences as the intellect of the average Leaver has trouble processing such fine distinctions

Anonymous

wow – had a posting that questioned Raab deleted. Sinister….

Anonymous

Had a post that pointed out it was a preliminary hearing, not a premilitary hearing, removed too.

Observer

My instinct, unresearched, is that it was not a part of Johnson’s office or function as Mayor to inform the public about EU membership and that he was acting as a private individual and not in the course of his office when he misinformed people about the cost of EU membership. I should be happy to discover I am wrong about this.

Anonymous

ADULTERER!!!!!!

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