Officers investigating alleged breaches of election law by the official Brexit campaign have passed a file to prosecutors, Scotland Yard said.
The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Vote Leave – which counted among its directors Dominic Cummings, who is now a senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – after being passed material by the Electoral Commission.
The campaign group was fined £61,000 in July last year after the commission found it had exceeded its legal spending limit of £7 million by almost £500,000.
Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have all gone to great lengths to avoid scrutiny over what they knew of Vote Leave breaking the law when they were part of the campaign.
On Friday, a spokesman said a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last month regarding Vote Leave and youth Brexit group BeLeave.
The unofficial Leave.EU campaign also faced a police investigation over its spending during the 2016 referendum after a referral from the commission.
But Scotland Yard dropped the case in September, saying there was “insufficient evidence” to justify further criminal investigation.
A Met spokesman said: “On Thursday, October 17, the MPS submitted a file to the CPS for early investigative advice in relation to the second investigation, which followed a referral from the Electoral Commission on July 17 2018 and concerns Vote Leave and BeLeave.”
As part of its investigation, the commission also said £675,000 spent by BeLeave should have been declared by Vote Leave.
Tories misuse taxpayers’ money on Government-funded Facebook ads targeting marginal seats
The announcement comes as the Conservative Government has been accused of misusing public money in Government Facebook ads targeting marginal constituencies which were launched on the day Boris Johnson got the election he has repeatedly claimed he did not want to hold.
With concerns that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings used Facebook illegally in the EU referendum as part of the Vote Leave campaign, there have been none of the changes in election supervision called for to stop them doing the same again during this autumn’s General Election campaign.
MP Ian Lucas who has investigated the issue in Parliament’s DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation, told The London Economic:
“We know Facebook was used as a political weapon by Johnson, Cummings and Gove in the Vote Leave illegal campaign.
“The same people are now using the same techniques in the 2019 General Election because we still have the same outdated electoral laws, despite all the DCMS Select Committee, the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner have said about essential reform being required.”
Last month Ian Lucas wrote in The London Economic about the extraordinary lengths to avoid scrutiny over Vote Leave offences that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings have all gone to.