Leave.EU fined £70,000 for breaking EU referendum spending limits
The group, co-founded by former Ukip backer Arron Banks, overspent by at least £77,380, an investigation found.
Brexit campaign group Leave.EU has been fined £70,000 for breaking rules on spending during the EU referendum campaign, the Electoral Commission has announced.
The group, co-founded by former Ukip backer Arron Banks, overspent by at least £77,380 – 10% over the limit for non-party registered groups – an investigation found.
We have fined https://t.co/JFd2UeRquB £70,000 for offences committed under electoral law, following our investigation into the campaigner’s funding and spend during the EU referendum.— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) May 11, 2018
Read our press release: https://t.co/EJIzMGQZHe pic.twitter.com/tNuGAkKkLL
The commission said the actual figure “may well have been considerably higher”, adding that the group had presented “incomplete and inaccurate” information about spending.
But it said it found no evidence that controversial tech firm Cambridge Analytica had made donations or provided paid-for services, and its role was limited to “initial scoping work”.
It also said that a case has been referred to the Metropolitan Police.
Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission’s director of political finance and regulation, and legal counsel, said: “The rules we enforce were put in place by Parliament to ensure transparency and public confidence in our democratic processes.
“It is therefore disappointing that Leave.EU, a key player in the EU referendum, was unable to abide by these rules.
“Leave.EU exceeded its spending limit and failed to declare its funding and its spending correctly. These are serious offences.
“The level of fine we have imposed has been constrained by the cap on the Commission’s fines.”