Will he be found guilty? Will he be given a serious criminal sentence? Only the courts can decide. (Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Do you remember when we all used to trust politicians and have real faith in the systems of democracy and government?
No, neither do I. This is why I’ve instructed our lawyers to prosecute Boris Johnson, so the ideal of a system of trust can become a reality.
During the 2016 EU referendum I witnessed the disgusting demonstration of the depths to which our political professionals were willing to stoop.
In my view the Leave side largely lied their way to victory and the Remain side cheated their way to defeat by using public funds for campaigning purposes. Neither strategy deserves applause and both require strong action to prevent repetition.
So, I crowdfunded £145,000 from about 5000 people at the time, moved to London, recruited a legal team and set about trying to build criminal prosecution cases against Leave and Remain campaigners.
I want to prevent conduct of that kind from becoming the normal political standard in UK politics. I knew that if we could win a prosecution against such immoral and untrustworthy actions the precedent could make it illegal for them to occur in future.
Over the next two and a half years we considered cases based upon fraud, undue influence and incitement to racial hatred, among others.
We investigated several very high-profile politicians and campaigners from both sides.
However, after a lot of hard work our legal team concluded that only one case could be brought: Mr Boris Johnson, for the alleged offence of misconduct in public office.
This is a criminal offence contrary to the common law, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Our lawyers have contacted Mr Johnson to ask him for comment.
Our team, led in court by Lewis Power QC, is challenging Mr Johnson’s statements concerning the claim we spend £350 million every week on EU membership. Our team argues that this claim was false.
It is false to say that the UK spends this sum of money, a fact of which we believe Mr Johnson is aware. However, he decided to repeatedly state the claim regardless.
Only a court can decide upon innocence or guilt in this matter, no outcome is guaranteed. But, prison sentences in response to dishonest actions from public office holders are not unprecedented.
In 2012 an off-duty police officer was given a one year prison sentence after he lied within an email concerning the ‘Plebgate’ affair.
In 2004 an elected councillor with a hidden private interest was given an 18 month prison sentence for dishonestly influencing the route of a road realignment project.
In 2013 two prison officers were also imprisoned, one of their offences being the dishonest covering up of a sexual relationship between a colleague and an inmate. If these relatively minor dishonest actions are prison worthy examples of misconduct in public office; then why shouldn’t dishonest claims about public spending from top politicians be as well?
If an elected public officer, such as a member of parliament, were to knowingly lie to the public about how their money was being spent, surely that would be an enormous abuse of public trust? If all are truly equal under the law, why should a police officer be expected to adhere to higher standards than a high-flying member of parliament?
Will he be found guilty? Will he be given a serious criminal sentence? Only the courts can decide.
If I fail in my job to raise the money we need to pay for this case, these questions shall never be answered. I invite all Metro readers to join me in my fight against lying in politics by helping us crowdfund our case today.
Our team of top criminal lawyers have worked on offences such as terrorism, war crimes, murder and serious fraud. They’re a great team and this is a very serious effort. We need to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to keep this moving forward and time is running out.
Together we can create a world in which we do trust our politicians and have faith in the systems of democracy and government. And one day we can tell our kids how we did it.