U.K. Police Drop Probe Into Pro-Brexit Group Leave.EU, Co-Founded by Insurance Exec

By Franz Wild | September 13, 2019

U.K. police dropped an investigation into whether Brexit supporting campaign Leave.EU breached electoral law, saying there was insufficient evidence to justify any further criminal probe.

While Leave.EU made some “technical breaches” of the law when it comes to the spending reports it submitted for its campaign, there wasn’t enough evidence to continue the investigation, the Metropolitan police said Friday in a statement. On Aug. 5, a group of lawmakers had requested advice on a potential prosecution.

“It was right to investigate the allegation,” Alex Murray, the commander of the Metropolitan police’s Central Specialist Crime department, said in the statement. “However, following detailed inquiries, it became apparent that the nature of potential breaches of the regulations, the criminal standard of proof required in court and the actions taken by Leave.EU to adhere to the regulations, mean that it is now appropriate to take no further action.”

An investigation into Vote Leave and BeLeave’s spending is continuing, the police said.

In February, the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined Leave.EU and a linked insurance company 120,000 pounds ($149,000) for serious breaches of electronic marketing laws, connected to how it used data analytics for political purposes.

[Editor’s Note: Arron Banks, who co-founded the pro-Brexit group, Leave.EU, is a wealthy UK insurance executive. The U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had investigated Banks, whether he was the true source of financing of the Brexit referendum campaign and if the money was allowed under electoral rules.]

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