Pro-Brexit group fined over campaign-spend breaches

The group also incorrectly reported what it spent during the campaign and inaccurately reported three loans it had received, according to the commission.

Pro-Brexit group fined over campaign-spend breaches

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pro-Brexit group Leave.EU was fined £70,000 ($95,000, 79,000 euros) on Friday for exceeding campaign spending laws ahead of the 2016 vote to exit the European Union, the UK Electoral Commission said.

The group received undeclared services from the US campaign strategists Goddard Gunster "despite a proportion of them having been used during Leave.EU's referendum campaign".

"Leave.EU exceeded its spending limit and failed to declare its funding and its spending correctly," said the commission's Bob Posner.

"These are serious offences. The level of fine we have imposed has been constrained by the cap on the commission's fines." 

The commission said it had referred "the responsible person" for Leave.EU to the police, suspecting them of committing criminal offences.

The campaign, associated with Nigel Farage and businessman Arron Banks, was allowed to spend £700,000 during the campaign, but exceeded this figure by at least £77,380, the investigation found.

The Leave.EU campaign group was founded by multi-millionaire Banks in July 2015 and was initially backed by former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Farage, but it lost out on official campaign status to the Vote Leave group.

However it continued to play an instrumental role and has remained active since the June 23 vote, campaigning for Britain to exit the European single market and for a strict immigration policy. 

Banks denounced the investigation as "a politically motivated attack on Brexit and the 17.4m people who defied the establishment to vote for an independent Britain.

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

"What a shambles, we will see them in court."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Mayıs 2018, 11:12