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07th Jun 2019

Boris Johnson’s Brexit misconduct case thrown out by judges

Kyle Picknell

Reasons for the High Court’s decision will be given at a later date

Boris Johnson’s legal team successfully overturned a summons for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP’s to appear in court after he was accused of misconduct in public office.

Johnson claimed that the UK giving £350 million to the European Union every week during the 2016 referendum campaign – even going as far as to plaster it on the side of a giant red bus.

The prosecution came from a private case launched by campaigner Marcus Ball, who crowdfunded £300,000 to pay for a legal team. It resulted in the Tory leadership candidate being issued a summons to attend court on three claims of misconduct in public office.

But now the case has been thrown out by the High Court in a decision made at a hearing in London, as Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Supperstone chose to overturn Johnson’s summons.

According to the London Evening Standard, the court broke shortly before 1pm after hearing three-and-a-half hours of legal argument but Rafferty told the assembled lawyers and journalists: “Don’t go.”

They then returned within minutes and delivered the verdict: “The conclusion of the court: we grant permission [of Johnson’s appeal]. We are persuaded.”

Mr Justice Supperstone said: “We are quashing the decision of the District Judge.”

The former Mayor of London’s legal team argued that the offence of misconduct in public office was about the secret abuse of power and that there was nothing secret about Johnson’s claim, which had been repeatedly challenged during the campaign.

The judges said they would issue the reasons for their decision at a later date.