Crowdfunder: referendum law breakers

For democracy to work fairly and effectively, all campaigners and parties must operate on a level playing field; no one can be above the rule of law.  Whatever way we voted in the referendum, we should all agree that wrong doing needs to be dealt with.

That is why I have joined with other concerned politicians and ex-politicians, Tom Brake MP, Ben Bradshaw MP and Fiona Mactaggart who believe in accountability and that is why we are asking for your support in our legal action.

The issue of campaigning expenses is important to our democracy and the purpose of the laws is to provide an equal playing field so that the system does not favour those with the deepest pockets. Last year, the Electoral Commission published two reports in which they found that individuals involved in the 2016 European Union Brexit referendum campaign had broken the law on campaign spending limits and transparent and accurate spending reports. Three individuals and two campaigns were found to have committed these offences, with the Electoral Commission using the full force of its powers to impose the highest fines permitted by statute.

In their reports, the Electoral Commission specifically drew attention to the fact that it had found, beyond reasonable doubt, that electoral offences had been committed. The electoral offences that the Electoral Commission found were breached mirror criminal offences under the same statute. In line with their Enforcement Policy, the Electoral Commission referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), but they have sat on the information. I would urge you to support the crowdfunder which aims to prompt the MPS into activity.

The Lords take a second bite

Amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill come back to the Lords today and while the media is focused upon giving the Commons a meaningful vote over the EU negotiations, a lot of other critical issues are at stake. Deleting the Henry 8th powers is crucial if Parliament wants to genuinely take back control of power from the executive. Retaining the charter of Human Rights would show that we intend to remain a progressive and democratic country. Continue reading “The Lords take a second bite”

Lords debate Brexit

As someone who has advocated leaving the EU for over two decades, I resent people saying I am out to ‘wreck’ the Brexit bill by seeking to amend it. Many of us have huge concerns that we will lose environmental and social protections because of the way the Prime Minister is approaching these negotiations. I am concerned that the Cabinet will attempt to dump protections for everything from wildlife and countryside to workers rights and climate change, by using a combination of exit negotiations and secondary legislation. It is wrong to use the referendum result as cover for by-passing proper Parliamentary scrutiny and the Lords has the job of ensuring that a democratic process is followed throughout the different stages of the negotiations. As for the threats of Lords abolition and replacing it with a democratically elected second chamber, that would be a welcome bonus.