Boris Johnson will face court over allegations of misconduct for comments he made in the run-up to the EU referendum. Campaigner Marcus Ball has accused the Tory leadership candidate of misconduct in public office over claims he was lying when he said the UK gave the EU £350 million a week. Mr Ball launched the
Boris Johnson will face court over allegations of misconduct for comments he made in the run-up to the EU referendum.
Campaigner Marcus Ball has accused the Tory leadership candidate of misconduct in public office over claims he was lying when he said the UK gave the EU £350 million a week.
Mr Ball launched the bid for the private prosecution in the aftermath the 2016 vote and has since raised more than £200,000 through a ‘Brexit Justice’ crowdfunding campaign.
Lawyers representing Mr Ball lodged an application to summons Mr Johnson to court, claiming he had deliberately misled the public during the referendum campaign and then repeated the statement during the 2017 general election.
Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing and called the move a “political stunt”. Mr Johnson will be summonsed to court.
She wrote: “The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact. “Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted. The charges are indictable only.
“This means the proposed defendant will be required to attend this court for a preliminary hearing, and the case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial. The charges can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.”
The ruling said: “The court is dealing with an application, dated 20th February 2019 and received by this court on the 25th February 2019, for a summons against the proposed defendant, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, for three offences alleging misconduct in a public office.”
It said that although there is no obligation on the court to give written reasons why an application for a summons is granted or refused, “this is an unusual and exceptional application with a considerable public interest and it is right that full reasons are provided to the unsuccessful party”.
Mr Johnson’s position was outlined in the ruling. His position in summary said: “This application is brought for political purposes. The position presented to the Court is that this is a disinterested attempt to improve the standards of political debate.
“The reality of this enterprise is different. The ‘Prosecutor’ (a limited company) is ‘Brexit Justice Limited’. Brexit Justice Limited is the product of a campaign to undermine the result of the Brexit referendum, and/or to prevent its consequences.
“The company and this application owe their existence to the desire on the part of individuals such as Mr Ball to undermine the referendum result. The ‘Brexit justice’ which is ultimately sought is no Brexit.”