- A judge has ordered Boris Johnson to appear in court over a lawsuit for misconduct in public office
- This is regarding false claims he made while campaigning for Brexit
- The charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment
The recent resignation of British Prime Minister Theresa May has led to a great discussion about who might be her successor. One of the frontrunners in this discussion is Boris Johnson but it seems like he might be in a bit of trouble with the law with regard to his involvement in the Brexit campaign of 2016. As reported last week, a lawsuit is being brought forward against Boris Johnson for allegedly making false claims during the Brexit campaign in order to secure votes for the ‘leave’ movement. At the time, it was not entirely clear whether or not the lawsuit would move forward and if Johnson could potentially face jail time.
Now it seems he will have to appear before a court as it was announced on May 29 that a judge has summoned him to appear in court with regards to the accusations.
Breaking the law is not politics
District judge Margo Coleman refused arguments that were brought forward by Jonhson’s legal team which claims that this case was a vexatious attempt to undermine the referendum result.
“Having considered all the relevant factors, I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences [of misconduct in a public office],” a statement by the judge said.
However, the judge did say that the charges are indictable only which means that Boris Johnson will be required to attend the court for a preliminary hearing after which the case will be sent to the Crown Court for trial. He has denied any wrongdoing with regards the charge of misconduct in a public office which carries the maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Case began with crowdfunding
The individual behind the case has crowdfunded over £200,000 in order to push the investigation against Johnson. While campaigning for the ‘leave’ movement of Brexit, Johnson had claimed that the UK was sending over £350 million weekly to the EU, a claim that has since been debunked.
Should Johnson actually be convicted of misconduct, it will be a landmark case as it will be the first time in British history that a political figure will be convicted while in office.