Darren Grimes: Electoral commission ‘part of the mob’

Friday, May 8, 2020

Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes has lambasted the Electoral Commission after police formally dropped their investigation over a case it brought against him.

The founder of BeLeave (a pro-Brexit campaign) said he was “delighted” that the Metropolitan Police had closed the case over alleged spending breaches during the 2016 EU referendum.

Mr Grimes had been ordered to pay £20,000 by the election watchdog in 2018, after being accused of making false spending declarations. However, he won an appeal in July last year and the fine was overturned.

Today he strongly criticised the Electoral Commission for its action against him and questioned whether it was fit for purpose.

He said: “Once again the Electoral Commission has been found to be part of the mob; a quango out of control that isn’t policing elections so much as punishing Leavers who have the temerity to win them.

“The Leave campaign gave hope and a voice to those who have been ignored by the establishment and what we’ve seen since is concerted campaign by elite figures to denigrate and delegitimise our vote for change”.

The initial allegation was linked to a £680,000 donation to his youth-focused group from the main Vote Leave campaign, which took Vote Leave over its £7 million legal spending limit by almost £500,000.

While Mr Grimes successfully contested the fine, Vote Leave has since paid in full a £61,000 fine related to the incident after opting to drop its own appeal.

The Met has also said no further action will be taken against Vote Leave board member Alan Halsall.

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