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Over the weekend the Mail on Sunday reported, quite explicitly, that our founder, Jo Maugham, is being “targeted by Ministers”. What is suggested is that Good Law Project is somehow “abusing” crowdfunding. But no evidence is given in support of that contention.
And it is false.
There is a need for a stronger ethical framework for crowdfunding. And Jo has led the way in calling for it: see, for example, here and here. In the meantime, we continue to strive for the highest ethical values. And we believe we meet them.
The truth is, the attack is nothing to do with our conduct. It is a transparent and deceitful attempt by Government to target one of its most effective critics. And to close down the most effective route to exposing its disregard for the law.
We will not be silenced. If you are in a position to do so, you can support Good Law Project by setting up a regular donation here.
The Courts have repeatedly complimented us for our conduct. In our challenge over the Hanbury contract handed to associates of Dominic Cummings, the Judge said she was satisfied that we are managing our cases and funds in an appropriate way. In another hearing the Judge said: “All citizens are likely to have an interest in whether or not the procurement on the part of the government is done using good governance procedures and integrity. And therefore there is a real wider public interest that has been represented by the claimant group…” In our Unpublished Contracts case, the Judge said we had: “a sincere interest, and some expertise, in scrutinising government conduct in this area. There is no allegation (and no evidence) that it is seeking to use the public procurement regime as a tool for challenging decisions which it opposes for other reasons.”
Over the last 18 months we have used crowdfunding to reveal the shady award of PPE contracts to friends of Tories and to reverse Johnson’s unlawful attempt to mislead the Queen and cancel Parliament. We have also instructed lawyers to examine whether Johnson’s decision to award a peerage to Peter Cruddas – a decision which was followed by a donation of £500,000 by Lord Cruddas to the Conservative party – was unlawful.
But, like all autocrats, Johnson hates scrutiny and wants to put himself beyond challenge.
His Government has decimated legal aid, is advancing reforms to judicial review which would undermine the rule of law and crucial principles of fairness and accountability, and is forcing out officials tasked with upholding standards.
Crowdfunding is the only route by which normal people can challenge the Government’s disregard for the law. Close it down and judicial review becomes a tool only the wealthy can wield.
Government could stop us crowdfunding tomorrow – all it needs is to acquire some basic regard for the law. Meanwhile, we will continue, fearlessly, to press for truth and accountability.
It is only with your support that we can continue to hold Government to account. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.