Alastair Campbell: 'EU referendum was won by criminality - there must be an investigation'

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Former Downing Street press secretary Alastair Campbell has backed calls for a police investigation into Vote Leave.

The official Brexit campaign was fined £61,000 by the Electoral Commission for overspending after making a donation to BeLeave, a pro-Brexit youth group.

BeLeave then bought the marketing services of Aggregate IQ, the same digital marketing firm used by Vote Leave. The Commission ruled the two groups were working together and the donation brought Vote Leave over its £7 million spending limit.

Labour’s Darren Jones called for a public inquiry and Alastair Campbell said the police should be involved.

‘Referendum was won by criminality’

“When Lance Armstrong was done for doping, he lost his title. If we have electoral law, then electoral law has to be met,” he told Eamonn Holmes on the Drivetime show.

“We now know that the referendum was won in a large part by lying, all those lies about Turkey coming into the European Union, and it was won in part by criminality. And I think that surely is a matter for huge concern.

“The law is the law and it’s been broken.”

Read more: Darren Jones MP: 'Punishment for Vote Leave isn't strong enough'

He added that he wanted to see key Brexiteers - including Arron Banks of Leave.EU, which was similarly fined £70,000 for overspending, although it was not part of the latest Electoral Commission investigation - interviewed.

“I’m certainly saying that now the police have to get involved in this,” said Campbell.

Read more: Does Vote Leave's fine undermine Brexit referendum result?

“Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Arron Banks, they’ve all got to the interviewed. There’s got to be a proper investigation into this.

“We’re talking here about a referendum that changes the future of our country forever.”

‘Chaos in the Commons’

He also dismissed the entire Brexit process as “shambolic”.

“We’re talking about it in context of a complete shambolic chaos in the government’s handling of it, chaos in the Commons, criminality in the campaign.

“Yesterday seeing our closest ally post-Brexit Donald Trump turning his back on us in favour of Vladimir Putin - these are really worrying times.”

Vote Leave disputes the findings and says the the report “contains a number of false accusations”.