The High Court
has thrown out an attempt to prosecute MP Boris Johnson over claims he lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying the UK gave the EU £350m a week.
The Tory leadership candidate challenged a summons for him to attend court on three claims of misconduct in public office. His lawyers said he denied acting improperly or dishonestly.
Campaigner Marcus Ball launched the private prosecution. This happened after he crowdfunded more than £300,000 for the case. Mr Johnson, a former Foreign Secretary, was handed a summons to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 May.
But at a High Court hearing in London, Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Supperstone overturned this decision. Addressing Mr Johnson’s barrister, Adrian Darbishire QC, Lady Justice Rafferty
said “We are persuaded, Mr Darbishire, so you succeed, and the relief that we grant is the quashing of the summonses”.
The Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP’s legal team argued that the offence of misconduct in public office was about the secret abuse of power and there was nothing secret about Mr Johnson’s claim, which they said had been challenged during the campaign.
Simple enough, now what happens to the £300,000 donated, foolishly perhaps, to prosecute Mr Johnson? Costs follow the case, does Mr Johnson receive his defence costs?