Leave.EU pleased after court case involving Electoral Commission

The pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU have said they are pleased with the outcome of a legal case involving the Electoral Commission.

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It relates to decisions to fine Leave.EU for alleged campaign spending offences.

As The Guardian’s David Pegg reported: “Most significantly, however, the judge found that the group did not need to report spending with the US political consultancy Goddard Gunster, because political strategic advice is not a reportable campaign expense under PPERA.”

The Guardian journalist also highlighted how aspects of Leave.EU’s appeal were allowed, meaning the financial penalties may be reduced.

In a statement, Leave.EU have said: “What started with the Cambridge Analytica and Goddard Gunster conspiracy theories has ended with the Electoral Commission being forced to re-do their numbers.

“Goddard Gunster, the judge held, was not campaign expenditure and rules in our favour.

“The loan agreement, to the Leave.EU campaign, was confirmed by the judge as being from Arron Banks, and Rock Services was not a party to it.

“And the Electoral Commission were forced to recognise they got their numbers wrong, and that the campaign overspent by less than the 10% threshold defined by the Electoral Commission as a major overspend.

“The Electoral Commission’s fines levied against Leave.EU will now be reviewed in April.”

Leave.EU’s Arron Banks said: “We always knew the Electoral Commission was a politically biased Remain operation and we are quietly pleased with the result and the judgement.

“The Chairman of the Electoral Commission described Brexit as nonsense and it’s clear that passion got the better of judgement.”

The Electoral Commission said: “We will review the limited elements of our findings with which the judge did not agree. We await a future hearing which will address penalties.”