- A court hearing has been scheduled over a case against Boris Johnson
- Johnson is being sued for making false claims during the Brexit campaign
- The case is being crowdfunded and has raised over £370,000 so far
The Brexit process has affected all who live in the UK and many outside it, and has lead to potential resignations of world leaders and also compromises being reached among political opponents. However, these are not entirely unusual in the political world as leaders resign all the time and allies join forces for the greater good in certain situations. However, Brexit is now seeing a first-of-its-kind as it was reported this week that Boris Johnson could be facing public prosecution over claims made while campaigning in favour of Brexit.
Historic precedence is being set
According to public prosecutor Marcus Ball, Johnson had committed the offense of misconduct in public office because he endorsed and made statements regarding the Brexit matter that he knew were untrue during the time that he was Mayor of London and a member of Parliament. Among these claims from the ‘vote leave ‘campaign were that the UK sent £350 million to the EU each week, a claim that was proven to be false by the UK Statistics Authority.
This lawsuit goes beyond just taking a public figure to court or trying to hold someone accountable for the misinformation that was spread but it is also a landmark case in that a member of parliament could be prosecuted while in public office for misconduct.
“This case is a world first, it has never happened before. A Member of Parliament has never been prosecuted for misconduct in public office based upon alleged lying to the public. My backers and I aspire to set a precedent in the UK common law making it illegal for an elected representative to lie to the public about financial matters,” send Mr. Ball.
£370,000 raised – for the prosecution
Should this case be successful as Ball said, we could see in the future public officials being prosecuted while in office for misleading the public both in the UK and around the world.
Private prosecution will receive an internal hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on May 14, but it is not yet known whether or not the case will ultimately to trial. Either way, it is clear that people are passionate about the matter as £370,000 worth of funding has been raised in order to pursue the case against Johnson.