Tom Brake MP has joined a cross-party group of MPs threatening to take crowdfunded legal action against the Metropolitan Police for their failure to charge or discharge those who committed electoral offences during the June 2016 EU referendum.
Following revelations by whistleblowers, the Electoral Commission found three individuals and three campaign groups had committed electoral offences for which the highest fines permitted were imposed.
The Electoral Commission then referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service. In September of last year, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that it had received over 2,000 documents and a full explanation from the Electoral Commission on the offences that had been committed.
The Metropolitan Police haven’t yet clarified whether any of these individuals and organisations are going to be charged, even though they have been in possession of relevant information for over 11 months.
Tom Brake for Carshalton and Wallington said:
“The public is entitled to know, without delay, whether any criminal law-breaking took place in the run-up, during and after the EU Referendum campaign. Foot-dragging is not an option for the police when investigating claims relating to the integrity of our democracy.”
The Electoral Commission report can be found here. The group of MPs include Ben Bradshaw MP, Tom Brake MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Jenny Jones of Mouslecoomb, and ex-MP Fiona Mactaggart.
The group has instructed Bindmans LLP and have a legal team, led by Saimo Chahal QC (Hon). Barristers are : Schona Jolly QC and Ruaraidh Fitzpatrick, Cloisters together with Joanne Cecil, Garden Court.
The legal team has drafted a letter before claim, which they have sent to the Metropolitan Police challenging their delay in investigation and seeking an explanation as to their failure to reach a charging decision.
The crowdfunding page can be found here.