Monday, 3 December 2018

Brexit: and Exeter's MP pressing for 'a full investigation'

Over the weekend, Ben Bradshaw's constituency had a visit:
Not dead yet! - Radio Exe

Meanwhile, the MP for Exeter has been asking questions:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Exeter's MP suggesting there are "serious questions to answer"
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Exeter's MP demanding "the police rigorously and fully investigate these allegations"

And he's suggesting we follow the money:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and dark money

As he said last week:

Brexit: High Court to rule if referendum vote ‘void’ as early as Christmas after Arron Banks investigation

Exclusive: Judges poised to fast-track explosive legal challenge after Theresa May’s ‘failure to act’ on growing evidence of illegality

Rob Merrick
Saturday 24 November

One senior Tory told The Independent: “If Arron Banks were to be charged and found guilty after the police investigation, he could go to prison. The man who played a big role in securing Brexit could yet help to destroy it.”

And Ben Bradshaw, a Labour MP who has pressed for a full investigation into Mr Banks’ activities, said: “This case should be explored given the allegations and the very serious crimes we know were committed by the Leave campaign.”

Brexit: High Court to rule if referendum vote ‘void’ as early as Christmas after Arron Banks investigation | The Independent

In fact, the case could have serious implications:
Arron Banks criminal investigation: could evidence against him make Brexit void? The Conversation

With the case due to be heard this Friday:
Latest Brexit challenge gets date in High Court's diary - Legal Cheek

Of course, the Ukrainian press is making quite a thing out of it:
Lawyers to cite Russian interference in major Brexit legal challenge | KyivPost

But so is British investigative journalism:

Theresa May accused of "major cover-up" over Brexit donor Arron Banks


Home Office refuses openDemocracy’s request for information about investigation into Banks – saying this “would impede the future formulation of government policy”...

Theresa May is under increasing pressure to clarify reports that she blocked an investigation into Brexit bankroller Arron Banks in the run-up to the 2016 referendum after the Home Office refused to reveal information about the controversial Leave.EU and UKIP donor.

Last weekend, openDemocracy revealed that Banks raised the possibility of fundraising for Brexit in the US while emailing former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Donations from outside the UK are illegal under British election legislation. openDemocracy has also revealed that Banks lied to MPs about the political work that his insurance company did for his Leave.EU campaign.

What did May do?

After the NCA investigation was launched, a report in the Daily Mail suggested that Theresa May had previously vetoed a probe into Banks before the Brexit vote took place. “The topic was simply too explosive in the run-up to the referendum,” the newspaper wrote.

In the Commons last week, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw MP asked May whether she had told security services not to investigate Banks when she was home secretary. She replied: “We do not comment, in this House, on individual criminal investigations.”

Bradshaw, who wrote to May asking if she had ever declined a request from the security services to conduct a probe into Banks the day after it was announced that the NCA investigation had begun, said that the Home Office’s response to openDemocracy suggested that “the government is trying to hide behind the form of language usually used to avoid commenting on intelligence matters. This is not an intelligence matter. It is a question about whether the government blocked an earlier investigation into someone who, two years later, is finally under criminal investigation.

"This is an extraordinary response from the Home Office and points, I'm afraid, to a major cover-up. How can telling the truth about whether the Home Office blocked an investigation into Banks 'impede the future development of government policy'? It's got nothing to do with the future formulation of government policy,” Bradshaw said.

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