Electoral Commission fines and refers Vote Leave to the police – sign our petition – Newsletter25th July 2018
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Big news. Big win for the Good Law Project.
Electoral Commission releases its investigation into Vote Leave’s EU referendum spending
We knew it all along, but last Tuesday the Electoral Commission found that Vote Leave broke electoral law. Vote Leave had significantly exceeded its legal spending limit and there was evidence of undeclared joint working between Vote Leave and the campaign group BeLeave.
It was the Good Law Project’s judicial review that caused the Electoral Commission to reopen its investigation into Vote Leave’s spending. And now we’re waiting for a decision from the High Court – we will, of course, keep you updated.
Here’s what our director, Jolyon Maugham QC, had to say about Tuesday’s findings: “What we now know beyond sensible doubt is that the rules laid down by Parliament to protect the fairness of the referendum were deliberately and seriously breached. In the circumstances, I do not believe the referendum result, a result won by illegality, ‘cheating’ if you like, can be said to represent the will of the people on that day in June 2016. The referendum should no longer be pretended to provide any mandate for Brexit.”
We’ve launched a petition, calling on the Government and the Opposition to set out what steps they will take in light of the Commission’s findings. You can sign it here.
Our next step now is to persuade the Scottish Court of Appeal that we need to know whether we can revoke the Article 50 notice. The hearing will take place on 15th August 2018. For our crowdfunding page, click here.
We’ve been delivering some big wins lately, but we really can’t do this work without your support. Please help us continue to keep up the good work.
Our modern slavery case against FDM
As you may recall, Capita dropped its demand that graduates pay for training if they leave within two years of finishing its training programme – a programme that had indentured, we believe, thousands of young people. It was a significant victory for the GLP, and an example of how even the prospect of legal action can force change.
Yet other outsourcing giants are continuing this practice of indenturing young people in their programmes, including FTSE-250 listed FDM Group. We wrote to them and received an unsatisfactory response and we will issue proceedings. However, we have first filed some pre-action disclosure requests.
We are still a long way from our crowdfunding target. Taking action without crowdfunding poses real financial risks to the Good Law Project and we would appreciate whatever help you can give to reduce those risks.
Monocle and the fight for minimum wage
We’ve been helping former intern Amalia Illgner sue Monocle, the upmarket lifestyle magazine owned by former FT columnist Tyler Brûlé, for minimum wage and we want a judge to rule against them in order to protect interns generally. Monocle is trying to buy this threat off and has sent cheques for Amalia’s entire minimum wage claim. But it won’t admit its practice is unlawful, it has started advertising again for internships, and is issuing costs threats to us.
To protect other young interns like Amalia, We want a determination from the Employment Tribunal. It is also a criminal offence to wilfully neglect to pay the minimum wage, and the GLP has taken advice on, and is considering whether to bring, a private criminal prosecution.
Watch this space. We want the Monocle, and others like it, to learn that it cannot buy off justice in the civil – or if necessary the criminal – courts.
This case has been brought without any crowdfunding. If you want to help us protect young interns like Amalia from exploitation you can do so here.
An Uber update
As you know, we are suing Uber in the High Court for the VAT invoice that would have exposed it as making taxable supplies, force it to charge VAT and pay (by our calculations) over £1bn in avoided VAT to HMRC.
The difficulty has always been on managing our costs liability. If Uber is on the hook for £1bn it will spend, spend, spend (very possibly millions) to try and protect itself.
To protect yourself from this risk of bearing that liability, you have to show you can’t get what you want by other means. And it is now clear following recent developments in other litigation that there is no better route for Uber.
We are currently seeking to push ahead in the High Court and will update again shortly.
News from our director
Our director Jolyon Maugham QC appeared in The Times recently, commenting on a case which could disrupt the gig economy. He also commented in openDemocracy’s piece on the Charity Commission’s probe into the think tank Institute of Economic Affairs.
How can you help
To help us keep up the good work, please, if you can, support us financially by becoming a member or making a one-off donation.
The Good Law Project