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We know that the Electoral Commission reopened its investigation into Vote Leave, Darren Grimes and Veterans for Britain after the Good Law Project initiated judicial review proceedings.
On 6 June 2018 Tom Watson asked a written question about that investigation:
What can we tell from the answer?
We can tell, from the reference to “in accordance with statute they have 28 days”, that the Electoral Commission is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Vote Leave, Darren Grimes and Veterans for Britain have broken the law.
Let me explain.
Paragraph 1(4) says:
And where the Electoral Commission proposes to take that step it must give the person affected notice of what is proposed (see paragraph 2(1)):
And the notice proposed must also specify the period the person affected has to respond (see paragraph 3(2)) which is here 28 days.
And that is precisely what the written answer suggests the Electoral Commission has done.
And he is right. Because, as the Judge put it in the Rahman case, if you win an election in breach of the rules, if you win it by cheating, then you cannot be said to have been democratically elected.
And if you win a referendum in breach of the rules, if you win it by cheating, the same again must be true.
In a perfect world, this would all come out when the Electoral Commission concludes and releases its report. Let me say, on the record, that I understand and appreciate that. But this concerns the behaviour of Vote Leave – the official designated Leave campaign body – and it seems to me important that Parliament know what the Electoral Commission’s assessment is of that behaviour before Parliament votes again on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19.
Because you do not obtain the will of the people if you cheat.