Campaigner stumbles in legal battle against Johnson over bus claim

Boris Johnson was frequently seen with the bus

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

An anti-Brexit activist has been rejected in his campaign to prosecute Boris Johnson over his 2016 claim the UK sends £350 million a week to the European Union.

Marcus Ball had attempted to bring a private prosecution against the Prime Minister over the claim which appeared on the side of a bus in the months before the Brexit referendum.

A district judge had called on Mr Johnson to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court to face three allegations of misconduct in public office, but this was quashed by High Court judges in June.

Mr Ball then applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court however this has now been thrown out by Lady Justice Rafferty.

The anti-Brexit campaigner now has the option to apply directly to the Supreme Court for permission to continue, and said he plans to keep fighting.

“This isn't over, we are not giving up. We are pursuing it, absolutely,” he said.

Marcus Ball said his fight is not over

Lady Justice Rafferty was also on the High Court panel that ruled against Mr Ball, and in June she said the “problem of false statements in the course of political campaigning is not new”.

She said that had the district judge’s decision stood it would have “extended the scope” of the offence of misconduct in a public office.

Ahead of the Brexit referendum, leave campaigners including Mr Johnson travelled in a red bus emblazoned with the slogan “We send the EU £350 million a week, let's fund our NHS instead”.

Read more

John Bercow vows to fight against attempt to suspend Parliament

Philip Hammond: No deal would ‘betray’ referendum