Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has joined a cross-party group of MPs in taking crowdfunded legal action against the Metropolitan Police in regards to electoral offences committed 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 by statute were imposed.
In line with its Enforcement Policy, the Electoral Commission 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 have been in possession of this information for over 11 months. To date, no decision has been reached as to whether any of these individuals and organisations should be charged.
Tom Brake MP said:
“The public are entitled to know without delay the extent of any criminal law-breaking that took place in the run-up, during and after the EU Referendum campaign. Foot-dragging is not an option for the police when investigating claimsrelating 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 are today sending 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.