- A prominent lawyer has stated that Boris Johnson should face criminal charges over lies in office
- This stems from false statements he made during campaigns for Brexit
It was reported this month that Boris Johnson, a frontrunner for the UK Conservative Party could make history by being the first politician and British history to be convicted of making false claims during a campaign cycle. This was due to a statement he repeatedly made on the of the amount of spending done by the UK on the European Union during Brexit campaigning and according to an individual trying to privately prosecute Johnson, he should be facing criminal charges.
According to a May 24 report, a lawyer for Marcus Ball, former ‘leave’ supporter, said that Boris Johnson had a case to answer for misconduct in a public office due to these claims.
The statement in question was that made by Johnson that the UK sent $443 million to the EU on a weekly basis, which was deliberately crafted to have the maximum impact on the public but has been revealed to be false. This statement was one of the major tenants of the leave campaign and had a great impact on those who voted
“The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest, it was we say, ‘criminal,”’ Lewis Power, the lawyer for Ball, said at Westminster Magistrates Court. “Notoriety and fame offer Mr. Johnson no protection.”
Old lies haunt Boris’ bid for prime minister
This case, however, could be detrimental to Johnson’s career because he will be the first politician to be privately prosecuted for making false statements and also because he is considered a favorite to replace current prime minister Theresa May when she resigns.
His lawyer has, however, denied that he has acted in any improper or dishonest manner during the campaign or at any other time. The hearing on May 23, 2019, was in order to present the argument on whether Johnson should be made to attend court. However, his attorney stated that now was not the right time to discuss or challenge statements made during the campaign by Brexit:
“The criminal offense is narrowly confined to the serious abuse of state power. Any potential misconduct should have been considered by a standards committee in Parliament or a similar forum.”
The prosecution attempt so far has been crowdfunded and Marcus Ball, the individual spearheading the project, stated that he considered both arguments for the remain and the leave before deciding on Johnson. He, like many Britons, was outraged when he found out that the statement made by Johnson was false.