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High Court throws out misconduct in public office case against Boris Johnson

The lawsuit had accused him of knowingly lying during the Brexit referendum campaign.

Image: House of Commons

BRITAIN’S HIGH COURT has thrown out a misconduct in public office case against Boris Johnson. 

Johnson had challenged the lawsuit which accused him of knowingly lying during the Brexit referendum campaign.

Lawyers for the Tory MP, who leads a crowded field of contenders vying to be Conservative Party leader after Theresa May formally resigns today, had claimed in court that the private prosecution was “politically motivated and vexatious”.

The case, brought by businessman Marcus Ball in a crowd-funded initiative, concerns Johnson’s claim that Britain sends £350 million (€400 million) a week to the European Union.

While this was Britain’s gross contribution, the net figure accounts for a budget rebate from the EU as well as payments to Britain’s public sector from the EU budget, and is substantially less.

The official Leave campaign emblazoned the controversial figure on the side of its touring bus during the 2016 EU referendum, while Johnson and other Brexiteers repeatedly trumpeted it campaigning.

Ball, 29, crowdfunded more than £300,000 through an online campaign to bring the case, alleging misconduct in public office. 

In a written decision on May 29, district judge Margot Coleman agreed, ruling she was satisfied there was a proper case to issue a summons — prompting today’s legal challenge.

- © AFP 2019.

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