07 June 2019 at 21:19
A case against Boris Johnson claiming he mislead the public during the Brexit referendum has been thrown out.
Britain’s High Court dismissed the action brought by Marcus Ball, a campaigner who crowdfunded more than £350,000 to bring his claim to the courts.
It alleged Johnson — in the running to be the UK’s next prime minister — mislead voters by suggesting the UK gave the EU £350m a week.
Judges are expected to give their reasons for throwing out the case at a future date.
Johnson’s lawyers refuted claims he caused an offence in public office and that the Brexit claims were challenged repeatedly during the 2016 campaign.
Ball’s lawyer Jason Coppel said the decision could allow “well-funded defendants to knock out proceedings before it started” and argued that Johnson’s £350m figure had a “direct impact on public trust”.
The £350m claim was printed alongside the side of a bus that went onto become an iconic symbol of the Brexit campaign.
Sajid Javid tweeted that he was “very glad” to see the case dropped.
“Freedom of speech feels increasingly challenged – we should always seek to debate political arguments in the open rather than close them down”, said Britain’s home secretary.
Very glad to see the court case against @BorisJohnson thrown out. Freedom of speech feels increasingly challenged – we should always seek to debate political arguments in the open rather than close them down https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1136967717532180481?s=21 …Sky News Breaking✔@SkyNewsBreakBoris Johnson has won a High Court challenge against a court summons to face allegations of misconduct in a public office over claims made during the referendum campaign that the EU receives £350m a week from the UK