Arron Banks and Liz Bilney, the CEO of Leave.EU, follow in the footsteps of Darren Grimes by winning in the High Court against the Electoral Commission. Today the Electoral Commission agreed terms of settlement over the Electoral Commission’s announcement in November 2018 of its referral of Banks and Bilney to the National Crime Agency for further investigation.
The NCA stated publicly on 24 September 2019 that having investigated the matters referred by the Electoral Commission, it found that there was no evidence of any criminal offences having been committed by Banks or Bilney. The NCA further notified the Electoral Commission that its investigation showed that the monies Mr Banks used to fund the loans came from the group of companies of which Mr Banks was the ultimate beneficial owner. Today the Electoral Commission finally admitted it was wrong on all counts:
The Electoral Commission considers it was right to refer this matter to the NCA for further investigation, but confirms that it accepts (a) the NCA’s conclusions that it found no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed under PPERA or company law by Mr Banks or Ms Bilney; and (b) the NCA had not received any evidence to suggest that Mr Banks or his companies received funding from any third party.
All that nonsense about Russians? Nyet.
The official Electoral Commission statement says
The National Crime Agency, after its own investigation, has (i) concluded that there is no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed under PPERA or company law by any of the individuals or organisations referred to it by the Electoral Commission; and (ii) has stated that it has not received any evidence to suggest that Mr Banks and his companies received funding from any third party to fund the loans subject to the investigation, or that Mr Banks acted as an agent on behalf of a third party. The Electoral Commission accepts these conclusions.
The Commission’s case was absolute nonsense. Parliament has oversight of the Electoral Commission, there must be a reckoning. It is not fit for purpose…