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29th May 2019

Boris Johnson to appear in court over £350 million Brexit claim

Wil Jones

Johnson made the claim during the 2016 EU referendum campaign

Boris Johnson has been ordered to make an appearance in court following claims that he lied about the money given to the EU by the UK.

Johnson has been accused of misconduct in public office after he claimed that the UK giving £350 million to the European Union every week during the referendum campaign in 2016.

The private prosecution was launched by campaigner Marcus Ball, who says Johnson and the Leave campaign misled the public. Ball has raised over £200,000 via crowdfunding to pay for the case.

A preliminary hearing will take place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, with the trial then being held at the Crown Court.

Boris Johnson has denied any wrongdoing. Speaking in court last week, his lawyer Adrian Darbishire said: “I should make it clear that because of the interest in this case that it is absolutely denied by Mr Johnson that he acted in an improper or dishonest manner at any time.”

Johnson has been accused of misconduct in public office – an ancient offence dating back to the 13th century, that can lead to life imprisonment. It can only be brought against someone entrusted to carry out a public role, and they would be found guilty if a court believes they willfully neglected their duties.

The maximum sentence for the offence which Boris Johnson could receive is life imprisonment.

“Democracy demands responsible and honest leadership from those in public office,” Marcus Ball previously.

“The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest. It was, we say, criminal.”

“The UK has never sent, given or provided £350 million a week to Europe – that statement is simply not ambiguous.”

Boris Johnson is currently the front runner to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party, and as Prime Minister.

The £350 million claim was famously plastered across a red bus during the 2016 referendum campaign.