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Fri Apr 21, 2017, 05:51 PM

Electoral Commission launches investigation into Leave.EU referendum finances

The Electoral Commission has launched an investigation into spending on the European Union referendum by the campaign group Leave.EU, it has announced.

The Commission says the investigation will focus on whether the Brexit-supporting campaign took “impermissible” donations and said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that potential offences” may have been committed by the campaign.


Leave.EU, which was co-founded by Arron Banks and Richard Tice, lost out on official campaign status to Vote Leave.

Responding to the launch of the cash probe, Mr Banks said: “The Electoral Commission allowed the Government to spend £11 million on a pack of Remain lies. We will be vigorously defending their allegations.”


The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr has some questions:

Carole Cadwalladr @carolecadwalla

Yes! So. The key questions:
1) Did Cambridge Analytica do work for Leave.eu. Yes.
2) Is CA majority owned by Robert Mercer? Yes.

Carole Cadwalladr @carolecadwalla

3) Is Robert Mercer - born in the US - an impermissible donor? Yes.
4) Does this also constitute overspending? Yes.
And. The big one...

Carole Cadwalladr @carolecadwalla

5) If a US billionaire has covertly influenced the democratic process? Does this meet the legal test of "foreign subversion"?


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