The Vote Leave campaign allegedly had to clear thousands of pounds worth of bills run up by a gay university student, according to the BBC.
The Electoral Commission is re-opening an investigation into whether Vote Leave breached campaign finance rules. In a statement they say, new evidence has come to light.
It’s alleged Darren Grimes racked up a £625,000 ($827,40o / €705,000) bill. It was with a digital agency just days before the vote.
During the campaign, the openly gay Brighton fashion student set up the pro-Brexit youth campaign ‘Be Leave.’
The Vote Leave campaign has long denied attempting to get around spending limits, something the commission initially accepted.
However, the Electoral Commission has today announced it has re-opened the investigation. They are seeking ‘to establish whether Vote Leave Limited, Grimes and/or Veterans for Britain breached campaign finance rules in relation to spending at the 2016 EU referendum.’
It follows a review of previous assessments that the Electoral Commission conducted earlier in 2017.
At the time, no further action took place. However, the Electoral Commission now say, new information has come to light.
‘Legitimate questions remain’
The new investigation will look at:
- Whether or not Mr Grimes may have delivered a return that was incorrect in relation to a donation he received from Vote Leave and related campaign spending;
- If Veterans for Britain delivered a return that was incorrect in relation to a donation it received from Vote Leave and related campaign spending;
- Whether or not Vote Leave delivered a return that was incorrect in relation to campaign spending;
- If Vote Leave exceeded its spending limit in the referendum.
Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission’s Director of Political Finance and Regulation and Legal Counsel, says:
‘There is significant public interest in knowing the facts about Vote Leave’s spending on the campaign. Particularly as it was a lead campaigner with a greater spending limit than any other campaigners on the “leave” side.
‘Legitimate questions over the funding provided to campaigners risks causing harm to voters’ confidence in the referendum and it is therefore right that we investigate.’
Darren Grimes is now the Deputy Editor for Brexit Central, Gay Star News has reached out to Mr. Grimes for comment.