According to the Electoral Commission, “Vote Leave”, the official group in charge of the “Leave” campaign for Brexit, broke the legal limits for spending during the campaign back in 2016.
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As if the current issues with the Brexit campaign weren’t enough, it now turns out that the official group in charge of the “Leave” campaign for Brexit, “Vote Leave”, broke the rules by spending over its allowed limit. For this reason, the Electoral Commission fined the group £61 000 and referred the person in charge to the Police for false claims.
“Vote Leave” was allowed to spend up to £7 million, but donated £675 000 to another Brexiter group, “BeLeave”, group targeted towards young people, breaking said limit by over £400 000. The person in charge of “BeLeave”, a 22 years old man, also received a fine of £20 000 and was referred to the Police.
One of the most well-known members of the “Vote Leave” campaign was Boris Johnson, who also recently resigned from his job as Foreign Secretary, due to disagreements with Theresa May on how to handle the Brexit process.
It is unclear whether this extra money spent on the Leave campaign could have influenced the result of the referendum, as the results were quite close, but the government has already ruled out a second referendum. The reasoning remainers are using is that “Vote Leave” spent close to 8-10% over what they were allowed, and the Brexit referendum result was quite narrow at 4% between “Remain” and “Leave”. It is worth pointing out many other groups were involved in campaigns on both sides, so it is hard to determine exactly what the outcome would have been without this extra spending.
The “Vote Leave” group tried defending themselves of the accusations by attacking the Electoral Commission and remainers. In this day and age of manipulation and lies, “Vote Leave” and the leader of “BeLeave” tried to twist the facts by talking of something completely different, as per usual, trying to deflect the criticism towards the remain campaigns.
The Electoral Commission also fined other political groups, such as the Brexiter “Leave.EU”, as well as the official Remain campaign, “Britain Stronger in Europe”.