Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Brexit: Boris Johnson £350m claim case thrown out by court

Brexit: Boris Johnson £350m claim case thrown out by court

Boris Johnson will not face a criminal prosecution over claims he made during the referendum campaign about the United Kingdom sending £350 million a week to the European Union after winning a High Court challenge.

The controversial claim was plastered on the side of a bus that toured Britain during the tightly fought campaign that resulted in a 52-48% vote for Brexit.

Last week, a magistrate agreed to issue summonses for Johnson to face charges of misconduct in public office over a claim emblazoned on his bright red "Leave" campaign bus that Britain would be 350 million pounds ($446-million) a week better off outside the EU.

They also argued the attempt to prosecute the MP is the culmination of a "politically-driven process".

He crowdfunded more than £300,000 through an online campaign to bring the prosecution.

Giving the court's decision, Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting with Mr Justice Supperstone, said: "We are persuaded, Mr Darbishire, so you succeed, and the relief that we grant is the quashing of the summonses".

Johnson's barrister, Adrian Darbishire QC, told the High Court that the private prosecution was politically motivated and hence vexatious.

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The common law offence of misconduct in public office has never been used to criminalise political speech and has been criticised by the Law Commission as "ill-defined".

Boris wasn't present at today's High Court hearing, but was seen leaving a home in London this morning.

Mr Johnson does not have to appear and is not attending the current hearing.

They took just a few minutes to overturn the decision of a district judge, but the reasons will be given at a later date.

She steps down Friday and formally triggers the race for a successor, but will remain prime minister until a new leader is chosen, likely in late July.

Friday's challenge, brought in the former foreign minister's full name - Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - examined whether a politician could be accused of criminal misconduct over statements made during political campaigning.

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