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!
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…
Observer source Shahmir Sanni says being “outed” was an “attempt to scare me” which has put him in “danger” and threatened his family’s safety. Well he didn’t look too worried as he partied with fellow whistleblower Chris Wylie at ‘Sink the Pink’ in Brixton last night. Shahmir and Wylie were certainly making the most of their newfound fame. Carole Cadwalladr promised Watergate and delivered a dodgy Zoolander. Almost as if this whole thing has been hyped up and exaggerated into the realms of fantasy in a bitter act of sour grapes following the break-up of a relationship…