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

mdi-timer 9th August 2019 @ 5:41 pm 9th Aug 2019 @ 5:41 pm mdi-comment Comments
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.”

mdi-timer 7th August 2019 @ 10:51 am 7th Aug 2019 @ 10:51 am mdi-comment Comments
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…

mdi-timer 23rd July 2019 @ 7:10 pm 23rd Jul 2019 @ 7:10 pm mdi-comment Comments
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…

mdi-timer 22nd July 2019 @ 1:09 pm 22nd Jul 2019 @ 1:09 pm mdi-comment Comments
Darren Grimes “Eternally Grateful”

mdi-timer 20th July 2019 @ 5:52 pm 20th Jul 2019 @ 5:52 pm mdi-comment Comments
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!

mdi-timer 19th July 2019 @ 4:12 pm 19th Jul 2019 @ 4:12 pm mdi-comment Comments
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