•   
  •   

UK News Electoral Commission: Vote Leave broke rules

09:55  04 july  2018
09:55  04 july  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

Benedict Cumberbatch: First-look snap as Vote Leave mastermind revealed

  Benedict Cumberbatch: First-look snap as Vote Leave mastermind revealed Cumberbatch is pictured with a receding hairline for his new role.Filming has begun on the “explosive and illuminating” political thriller, set mostly during the EU referendum.

A draft report by the Electoral Commission (EC) has found that the official campaign to leave the EU breached electoral rules during the referendum, according to the former Chief Executive of Vote Leave .

The Electoral Commission has been accused of mounting an "unfair and political" investigation into the official Leave campaign after it emerged it will find it broke electoral rules . The watchdog is poised to find that Vote Leave breached election rules on four counts and is expected to fine it up to £80,000.

The Vote Leave campaign is accused of spending more than the rules allow © Getty The Vote Leave campaign is accused of spending more than the rules allow

A draft report by the Electoral Commission (EC) has found that the official campaign to leave the EU breached electoral rules during the referendum, according to the former chief executive of Vote Leave.

Matthew Elliott has told Sky News that Vote Leave faces a possible fine over allegations that they overspent during the EU referendum campaign in 2016.

But Mr Elliot accuses the EC of a "huge breach of natural justice" by only listening to "the fantasists" without interviewing the directors of Vote Leave for their side of the story.

Turkey: Erdogan claims victory in presidential election

  Turkey: Erdogan claims victory in presidential election Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory after unofficial election returns showed him with enough votes to serve another term that carries new executive powers. "The nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty," Erdogan said in televised remarks from Istanbul after a near-complete count carried by the state-run news agency gave him the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

The commission is investigating whether Vote Leave , the lead campaigner to leave the European Union during the 2016 referendum, breached campaign finance rules . Electoral Commission launches inquiry into leave campaign funding.

The draft Electoral Commission 's report concludes that Vote Leave and another smaller campaign group did break the rules , the BBC understands, and is expected to recommend at least one fine.

He also says that a Leave campaign whistleblower who has given evidence to the commission was "completely lying" and was motivated by the desire for a second referendum.

Matthew Elliott says the report is a huge breach of natural justice © Sky News Screen Grab Matthew Elliott says the report is a huge breach of natural justice

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Elliott said of the EC: "Their initial conclusion is that we have overspent, that a donation we made to another group during the course of the campaign was incorrect, we shouldn't have made that donation."

But he says the EC has refused to engage or consider evidence that Vote Leave has produced.

He said: "They've listened to these, quite frankly marginal characters who came out in March, and listened to their stories, but haven't had evidence from Vote Leave side of things.

Jeremy Corbyn Under Pressure From Local Labour Parties To Back Second Brexit Referendum

  Jeremy Corbyn Under Pressure From Local Labour Parties To Back Second Brexit Referendum Jeremy Corbyn has come under renewed pressure from within Labour to back a second EU referendum. On Monday, a new campaign by grassroots party members, Labour for a People’s Vote, was launched to demand the party keep open the option of stopping Brexit. numberOn Monday, a new campaign by grassroots party members, Labour for a People’s Vote, was launched to demand the party keep open the option of stopping Brexit. According to the group, 62 local Labour parties will debate a motion calling on Labour to “oppose Tory Brexit and win a radical Labour government”.

Vote Leave ' broke spending limits'. Electoral Commission reopens Vote Leave probe. Media playback is unsupported on your device. Media captionVote Leave denies breaching spending rules in the EU referendum.

The draft Electoral Commission 's report concludes that Vote Leave and another smaller campaign group did break the rules , the BBC understands, and is expected to recommend at least one fine.

"I think it is a huge breach of natural justice that they haven't wanted to listen to our opinions and our story and we were the people running the campaign.

Whistleblowers Shahmir Sanni (L) and Christopher Wylie © Getty Whistleblowers Shahmir Sanni (L) and Christopher Wylie

"We are the people who could give them the facts, rather than basing all their opinion on the fantasists."

His remarks follow allegations from three whistleblowers. Former Leave activist Shahmir Sanni, web designer Mark Gettleson and Christopher Wylie, who worked for controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica, have claimed that Vote Leave used a youth campaign to get round spending limits.

But Mr Elliott says: "One of them wasn't even in the country during the campaign, one was a minor contractor for a few weeks at the beginning of the campaign and one was barely involved in the campaign.

"The key thing is to understand the motivation of the so called whistleblowers and all three of them who came forward to the commission want to have a second referendum."

What the papers say – June 26

  What the papers say – June 26 The vote for the third runway at Heathrow leads many of the papers.The Times runs with the Heathrow vote with MPs “overwhelmingly” backing a third runway, with the paper adding that Mr Johnson “provoked derision” after missing the vote.

Vote Leave ' broke spending limits'. Electoral Commission reopens Vote Leave probe. Media playback is unsupported on your device. Media captionVote Leave denies breaching spending rules in the EU referendum.

In a statement on its website, the campaign finance watchdog said it has begun an inquiry into whether Vote Leave broke the £7 million (.3 million) spending limit for referendums It is extraordinary that only now is the Electoral Commission taking a serious look at whether the rules were complied with.

Darren Grimes ran the youth-focused BeLeave campaign © Sky News Screen Grab Darren Grimes ran the youth-focused BeLeave campaign

The allegations centre around a 23-year-old fashion student called Darren Grimes. He was given £625,000 by Vote Leave for his youth-focused out campaign BeLeave.

But activist Shahmir Sanni says this was done to keep Vote Leave under the EC £7m spending limit, and the youth group was simply a proxy of Vote Leave itself.

Shahmir Sanni alleges that the cash went directly to Vote Leave's preferred data marketing company Aggregate IQ - and it remained under Vote Leave control. This would be in breach of EC rules.

Mr Elliott says: "He (Mr Sanni) was completely lying about that. Absolutely 100%.

"What we did with that donation was within the rules and the Electoral Commission told us we could do that. Everything we did was within the rules.

"They haven't found a smoking gun. If they (the EC) follow due process, if they are fair, they will find us innocent."

Mr Elliott denies suggestions that Darren Grimes worked out of the same office as Vote Leave.

He says allegations of cooperation between the campaigns over a messaging service called a "slack channel" were inaccurate and "had nothing to do with Vote Leave infrastructure".

Don’t let me down: Paul McCartney weighs in on EU copyright reform debate

  Don’t let me down: Paul McCartney weighs in on EU copyright reform debate Paul McCartney has become the latest high-profile figure to join the fierce campaigning in support of a reform of EU copyright rules, which opponents argue would destroy the internet. The former Beatle wrote to MEPs on Wednesday ahead of a key vote on Thursday, calling for them to support changes to copyright rules for online material that the EU says will help protect creators and publishers. MEPs will vote on whether to approve a draft ..The former Beatle wrote to MEPs on Wednesday ahead of a key vote on Thursday, calling for them to support changes to copyright rules for online material that the EU says will help protect creators and publishers.

Vote Leave broke the law during the EU referendum by exceeding legal spending limits, a Brexit activist has claimed. Electoral Commission faces legal action over Vote Leave ruling . 13 October 2017.

the Electoral Commission is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Vote Leave , Darren Grimes and Veterans for Britain have broken the law. He believes it jeopardises Brexit: And he is right. Because, as the Judge put it in the Rahman case, if you win an election in breach of the rules , if you

Mr Elliott admits the donation made in the last days of the referendum campaign would help Mr Grimes "amplify his message more". But insists there was no collusion or coordination.

The Vote Leave chief executive does admit that the donation was paid directly to data marketing company Aggregate IQ.

But he insists Darren Grimes asked him to do that, and the marketing company only reported back on how it was spent to Mr Grimes, not to Vote Leave.

Solicitor Tamsin Allen of Bindmans LLP, who represents the whistleblowers, told Sky News: "In March this year we submitted to the Electoral Commission three lever arch files of evidence, and a 50-page legal opinion prepared by senior QCs at Matrix Chambers.

"This strongly suggested that criminal offences were committed by members of Vote Leave and BeLeave during the Referendum campaign.

"Having carefully reviewed this evidence, and further evidence which has subsequently emerged, it now seems the Electoral Commission has indeed found them guilty of these criminal offences in its initial report.

"Vote Leave may not like this conclusion, but there is clearly a proper evidential basis for it. The commission should be permitted to complete its work and we await the release of its final report."

On Tuesday, Vote Leave submitted its rebuttal submission to the EC.

A spokesperson for the EC said: "The Commission has concluded its investigation and having reached initial findings provided Vote Leave with a 28 day period to make any further or new representations. That period ended on Tuesday 3 July.

"The unusual step taken by Vote Leave in sharing its views on to the Electoral Commission's initial findings does not affect the process set out in law.

"The commission will give due consideration to the representations made to the commission, including those made by other campaigners under investigation.

"We will then, at the earliest opportunity, publish a thorough and detailed closing report in order to provide a full and balanced account to the public and to Parliament."

Adam Silver, citing Rice Commission, strikes another blow against 'one-and-done' .
The NBA commissioner told reporters in Las Vegas that he believes league owners are ready to change draft rules that have caused a spike in players leaving college for the pros after one season.Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday that he believes the league will soon drop its requirement that players be a year removed from their high school graduation before they enter the draft.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!