Electoral Commission Not Appealing Darren Grimes Case

After keeping everyone guessing for weeks about whether they were going to blow even more taxpayers’ money on trying to appeal against their comprehensive defeat in the Darren Grimes case, the Electoral Commission have finally decided that they will not be appealing. Today was the deadline for them to appeal, they have confirmed to Guido that they aren’t.

It finally draws a line under three years of their vindictive pursuit of one young Brexit campaigner, with the Electoral Commission resorting to trying to string Grimes up on a technicality after failing to find anything substantive over the course of multiple investigations. Without the generous support of Guido readers, Brexit hero Darren would never have been to challenge their perversion of justice in the first place. Grimes can now rest easy, meanwhile the pressure on the Electoral Commission is continuing to mount

Kate Hoey Calls for Electoral Commission to be Disbanded

Labour MP Kate Hoey has called for the Electoral Commission to be disbanded after the “travesty of justice” over the way they handled the Darren Grimes case. Incredibly, the Commission are still considering an appeal against the judge’s decision despite their case being comprehensively dismantled. Blowing hundreds of thousands more of taxpayers’ cash in vindictive pursuit of one campaigner…

As Hoey says, clearly there does need to be a body that oversees elections. The highly partisan members of the current Commission and the asymmetric way they have dealt with the two sides in the referendum since means there is no confidence left in its abilities. Time to start again from the ground up…

UPDATE: Tory MP Craig Mackinlay has backed Hoey’s call to disband the Electoral Commission:

“Couldn’t agree more with @KateHoeyMP. The @ElectoralCommUK has made too many mistakes, hounded too many innocent people (I should know), given too much incorrect advice, changed its mind repeatedly, made interpretations of the law ‘on the hoof’. It has no further worth.”

Electoral Commission Grilled Over Darren Grimes Cock-Up

The Electoral Commission had to face two Parliamentary Select Committees today after their humiliating defeat in court by Darren Grimes last Friday. Craig Mackinlay – who knows Electoral Commission incompetence only too well, took Chief Executive Bob Posner to task over their decision to relentlessly pursue Grimes while failing to fully investigate Remain campaign spending irregularities. Posner mumbles something about following those “strands” and “maybe” fining a couple of groups. They did nothing of the sort

Instead Posner makes clear that the Electoral Commission are still considering appealing against the Darren Grimes judgement despite having already spent half a million of taxpayers’ cash on the case, although Posner points out that part of that was on the Vote Leave aspects of the case. The High Court having previously found that the Electoral Commission caused the problem in the first place by giving Vote Leave incorrect legal advice

It’s worth looking at the specifics of the Grimes case. Guido was in the courtroom:

  • The Commission’s case against Grimes himself was nothing to do with the spending limit issue around Vote Leave. So they went after him on a technicality instead…
  • The Commission’s first charge was that he had not filled a form in correctly to register as an ‘unincorporated association’ rather than an individual. An issue they didn’t flag at all in their first two investigations into Grimes – which found nothing.
  • They then slapped a second offence notice on him for subsequently submitting an “over-complete” spending return. Kafka-esque.
  • The judge found their form itself was highly confusing and that Grimes had filled out the majority correctly, and to the extent he hadn’t it didn’t matter. The dispute centred around a single box…
  • The judge also found that the Commission had essentially constructed their case the wrong way round. In effect they assumed Grimes’s guilt first and then challenged him to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
  • This led them to exclude a large amount of evidence in Grimes’ favour. Precisely the opposite of how the law is meant to work.
  • The judge also ruled that even if they hadn’t been wrong on the offences themselves, the maximum £20,000 fine was still disproportionate. It was vexatious.

The full judgment is yet to be published, but the outcome of the case was clear. The Electoral Commission weren’t just defeated, their whole case against Grimes was thoroughly debunked. Their QC James Eadie didn’t even bother to turn up to hear the judgment. The fact that their apparatchiks are now considering dragging it out and blowing even more taxpayers’ money just to try to save face is beyond belief…

Darren Grimes Hits Out at Biased Electoral Commission

Exonerated Brexit hero Darren Grimes appeared on PoliticsLive today where he hit out at the wealthy Remainers who made the last three years of his life hell. He also took the time to thank generous backers who helped clear his name…

Darren Grimes “Eternally Grateful”

Darren Grimes Wins Appeal Against Electoral Commission

The County Court has ruled in favour of Darren Grimes’ appeal, exonerating him of the Electoral Commission’s kangaroo court imposed fine. The Commission’s argument for their egregious fine hinged on Darren’s accidental registering as an individual campaigner rather than a group. The Court has found that this is clearly disproportionate for ticking the wrong box…

Darren won on both alleged offences. The notice has been quashed.

While the Government spent almost half a million pounds fighting him, Guido readers’ generous donations supercharged Darren’s appeal helping to raise over £90,000 to take the fight back to the Remain establishment. The average donation was just £30…

Responding to the news, Darren said that “today’s verdict is a victory against the Remain Establishment which has done all it can to try and discredit the biggest electoral victory in this country’s history.” 

Darren tells Guido:

I am delighted and relieved that the Court has found me innocent.

This case has taken a huge toll on myself and my family, and I’m thankful it’s now over. I will be eternally grateful to all those people who have supported me – your generosity and kind words of encouragement have kept me going.

The Electoral Commission’s case was based on an incorrectly ticked box on an application form – something that it had been aware of for over two years and had not been raised in two previous investigations. Yet the Commission still saw fit to issue an excessive fine and to spend almost half a million in taxpayer cash pursuing me through the courts. This raises serious questions about its conduct both during and after the referendum.

Today’s verdict is a victory against the Remain Establishment which has done all it can to try and discredit the biggest electoral victory in this country’s history. The powerful vested interests in this country don’t like the idea of the people taking back control. This victory is for every one of the 17.4 million who dared to defy the doomsayers and who want the referendum to be respected.

There has been a well- funded, coordinated campaign against me and those that have stood up to the Remain Establishment. Well today they have lost. I just hope that their attempts to overturn our democratic structures don’t put more people off from getting involved in politics. It is vital that people from my generation get involved in democracy and help shape the future of our country. I hope the Electoral Commission’s actions do not put young people off from engaging in politics.

One in the eye for the Remain Establishment!

Electoral Commission Spends £36,000 Just on Printing for Darren Grimes Case

Fresh from the revelation that the Electoral Commission have blown almost half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to fight Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes over a £20,000 fine for a minor administrative error, Guido has learned that they have claimed a staggering £36,000 in printing costs alone. What have they been printing on – gold-edged vellum?

Assuming they did just use normal office paper, at a conservative estimate of 5p per sheet that adds up to a gobsmacking 720,000 sheets of paper. That’s almost 100 trees that have been cut down in their vindictive pursuit of a single 25-year old Brexit campaigner…

Government Splurging Taxpayer Cash to Fight Darren Grimes

On Friday Brexit hero Darren Grimes attended court to find out the date when his full case against the biased Electoral Commission will be heard. He is facing a fight from the top QCs and solicitor firms in the country, including First Treasury Counsel James Eadie QC, thanks to the Commission’s support from the Government Legal Department, all funded by taxpayer cash. You can still donate to his grassroots crowdfunder hereThe case will be heard in the summer of next year…

Guido Readers Supercharge Darren’s Fightback

Darren Grimes will be submitting his Appeal to the County Court this week, following the overwhelming response of Guido readers, supporting his righteous fight against the biased Electoral Commission. An incredible 97% of Darren’s target has been raised so far from almost 2,000 donors, each making an average pledge of just £32. 25% of the 1803 pledges came from people aged 25-34.

You can get him to his £60,000 target by donating here…

Lord Gnome Copying Guido Again

Remainer rag Private Eye has clearly been reading Guido again, with their satirical take on Darren Grimes’ righteous crusade to fight the biased Electoral Commission. Guido thinks that Private Eye’s public schoolboys should try punching up at the cheating monied remainers rather than kicking down at the working class kid from County Durham.

You can donate to Darren’s crowdfunder here. Just £3,000 to go…

Darren Raises in 24 Hours What Shahmir Raised in 100 Days

Carole Cadwalladr’s Vote Leave ‘whistleblower’ Shahmir Sanni (also known as Zoolander) started his own crowdfunder page, despite already having expensive lawyers and mysterious generous powerful donors, on 16 April, more than 100 days ago.

BeLeave Brexit legend and victim of the biased Electoral Commission Darren Grimes started his crowdfunder yesterday, backed by hard-working Guido readers.

In that time you have raised £46,000 for Darren’s case (averaging £32 each), eclipsing the £45,000 Zoolander raised in over three months. On average that’s £18/hr for Remain and £1,917/hr for Leave. Power of the 17.4 million…

Darren Thanks Guido Readers as Crowdfunder Hits £20,000 in 2 Hours

Brexit hero Darren Grimes’s crowdfunder to help him appeal the Electoral Commission’s ridiculous fine has reached its £20,000 target in just two hours, after hundreds of Guido readers reached into their pockets to donate. As we go to pixel a whopping 564 people have donated, the average donation so far has been £35. Cash raised will make sure Darren has the best legal case to take to court and fight the Electoral Commission. You can donate here.

Help Darren Grimes Fight and Expose Biased Electoral Commission

Darren Grimes, the BeLeave Brexit hero of the revolution who has been hit with a huge personal £20,000 fine by the Electoral Commission – for the crime of accidentally ticking the wrong box – is crowdfunding an appeal. Darren is raising £20,000 to fight the decision and expose the Electoral Commission’s shameless Remain bias. The Remainer-stuffed Electoral Commission has repeatedly refused to investigate the Remain campaign despite the huge evidence against them, setting a different standard for the Leave campaign and vindictively pursuing a 24 year-old Brexiteer with the maximum fine for the flimsiest of charges. Darren says:

“I want to fight the Commission’s verdict. I want to do this for two reasons. One, I think their judgment against me is wrong, terribly unfair and vindictive. Two, I fear that, if we allow the electoral commission to get away with this, they will keep going after those who support Brexit. According to expert legal analysis, the Commission are wrong in law, wrong in fact and have been wholly unreasonable. I am very confident that the Appeal Court will overturn their decision – and in doing so will force the Commission to reconsider the way it conducts itself. But I need your help to do it.”

Whatever you think about Brexit, the Electoral Commission’s behaviour over Darren Grimes has been patently disproportionate. You can help donate to his Crowdfunder to appeal the decision and expose the biased Electoral Commission here

Electoral Commission Ignored Evidence Disproving Central Claims Against Vote Leave

The Electoral Commission is facing difficult questions this morning after it emerged they are to find Vote Leave guilty of breaking electoral law despite refusing to hear evidence that would have disproved the central claims. BeLeave’s Darren Grimes, who was 22 at the time, is expecting to be fined £20,000 for filling in his forms wrongly. The Commission failed to interview a single senior Vote Leave staff member during its investigation, or at any point in the last two years. They heard evidence from the discredited whistleblowers making the allegations, yet didn’t allow Vote Leave figures to defend themselves against the claims, despite multiple attempts from Vote Leave officials to meet the Commission and provide evidence. This is a real breach of natural justice – whatever you think of Brexit and the merits of the case, is it justice if the Electoral Commission find someone guilty of a criminal offence without allowing them to give a defence? 

It gets worse, the Electoral Commission’s failure to discuss any of their accusations with Vote Leave means that many of them are just factually incorrect. The central finding was reached because the Commission wrongly claimed that a bombshell email from Dominic Cummings to donor Anthony Clake proved that Vote Leave were raising donations for BeLeave with the intention of obliging the latter to spend that money on AIQ. They missed evidence from other internal emails that BeLeave had in fact requested money to spend on AIQ weeks before. So the Electoral Commission’s bombshell email… isn’t.

The Commission claims that BeLeave’s messaging was controlled by Vote Leave, yet they again refused to speak to anyone from Vote Leave to challenge that assertion. They even ignored evidence from the whistleblowers themselves that the messaging was in fact controlled by BeLeave. This point just looks nakedly partisan from the Electoral Commission – even Carole Cadwalladr doesn’t make this claim.

There are basic factual errors, the Commission claimed BeLeave was established in May 2016, it was in fact established and was active for many months before. The Commission’s own former retained barrister, Tim Straker QC, has noted that their continual mistakes amount to “an error in law”.

This is all without mentioning the Electoral Commission’s refusal to investigate the wealth of evidence that the Remain campaign colluded on a much greater scale. Guido can understand why Remain campaigners want to do in Vote Leave and overturn Brexit, but this stitch up from the Electoral Commission is objectively not justice…

IEA Unveils New Star Signings

Guido can reveal two big new hires for the Institute of Economic Affairs. Congratulations to rising star Darren Grimes, the Brexit hero who set up the successful BeLeave campaign before writing for BrexitCentral. Darren was in much demand, is one of the most effective right-leaning millennials on Twitter and is a very astute hire for the IEA as their new Digital Manager.

The IEA has also appointed Jon Moynihan to its board. The venture capitalist was another important Brexit figure, who chaired the Vote Leave Finance Committee and was the first chair of its Campaign Committee. Carole Cadwalladr could get a whole flowchart out of these two…

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