Now the Met’s confirmed an inquiry into Downing Street parties, Jolyon’s Good Law Project (GLP) is once again claiming victory; this time on the grounds that their pre-action letter to “force” the Met into investigating No.10 caused this all to happen. The GLP had been pushing for this for weeks, and even set up a Crowd Justice donation page to fight the government in court. Their campaign raised £100,145.
The GLP claimed on the donation page that only 10% of the final sum would go straight into their own coffers – the rest would be spent on the legal fight against the Met. That legal fight never came, because the Met have announced their investigation already. It’s only buried in the small print at the bottom of the page that the GLP admit donations may “go towards supporting other litigation”. The Crown Justice FAQs page also makes it clear the site doesn’t offer refunds:
“In general, there are no refunds.
There are some limited circumstances where the Case Owner does not use all the funds raised on the site for their case or recovers some of their costs.
When that happens, the Case Owner returns those “surplus” or unused funds to the site. (Unless the Case Owner is a charity or non-profit, in which case, the charity or NGO retains any surplus for its general charitable purposes).”
Given the GLP is non-profit, that’s a lot of money innocent donors won’t be seeing back in their bank accounts…
The GLP haven’t been fighting the Met with a meagre £100,000, however. On the 17th they announced a backing down on another case against Michael Gove, closing the crowdfunder and committing the funds “towards our challenge to the Met Police’s failure to investigate parties at No 10 Downing Street”. The amount raised in that fundraiser totalled £48,335. In total, therefore, the Good Law Project had £148,480 – enough for 148 luxury kimonos from Selfridges. Six figures for a pre-action letter would be steep for Jonathan Sumption, let alone the fox clubber…