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Electoral Commission investigate possible funding abuse by Vote Leave

The Electoral Commission is again investigating Vote Leave after whistle-blower Shahmir Sanni who worked for BeLeave came forward to say that when the sum of £625,000 was given to them by Vote Leave, it came with clear instructions as to how the money was to be used. If this is true, then it would be a criminal offence. Mr Sanni also asserted that most of the cash was spent on a firm linked to Cambridge Analytica.

Chris Wylie, former Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica, told MPs this week that the company’s actions during Brexit campaign were “a breach of the law”. Cambridge Analytica and its parent company provided analysis for Vote Leave ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum. The research, Wylie went on to say, likely breached UK’s campaign financing laws and may have helped to swap the outcome.

I think there is a case to answer by Vote Leave, BeLeave and Cambridge Analytica but I am not sure that it would have changed the 52:48 percent result. A plausible argument is that Leavers misled voters by stating that there was no economic downside to Brexit, no risk to the UK single-market benefits and off course the £350 million a week promised to fund the NHS. All these points were and could have been further countered by Remainers as they had the time and funds available to do so. However, we do have strict laws regarding elections and the question is were they exploited by Vote Leave. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments
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