|Part of a series of articles on the|
United Kingdom portal|
European Union portal
BeLeave was a campaign group which campaigned for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union in the 2016 EU referendum. The group was set up by Darren Grimes, reportedly to focus on younger voters.
Allegations about Beleave and referral to the Electoral Commission
In March 2018 former BeLeave activist, Shahmir Sanni, claimed that BeLeave was used by Vote Leave to exceed legal spending limits. It emerged that VoteLeave used BeLeave as a channel for a large payment to AggregateIQ, a Canadian company which worked on pro-Brexit projects.
Electoral Commission findings
On 17 July 2018, the Electoral Commission published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of Vote Leave and found that Vote Leave and Darren Grimes broke electoral law. Darren Grimes, representing BeLeave, was fined £20,000, the maximum permitted individual fine, for exceeding its spending limit as an unregistered campaigner by more than £660,000 and delivering an inaccurate and incomplete spending return.
High Court of Justice findings against the Electoral Commission and BeLeave
On 14 September 2018, the High Court of Justice found against the Electoral Commission, stating that its advice to Vote Leave and Darren Grimes was incorrect, but confirmed that the overspending had been illegal. Vote Leave subsequently said they would not have paid BeLeave without the advice.
Grimes began an appeal against his fine before the High Court's findings.
- "Vote Leave: Activist to give MPs evidence of 'rule breaking'". BBC. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
- "Vote Leave fined and referred to the police for breaking electoral law". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- Coates, Sam (15 September 2018). "Electoral Commission suffers High Court defeat over Brexit expenses advice". The Times. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Smout, Alistair (14 September 2018). "UK court rules against electoral watchdog in Brexit spending row". Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2018.