"No Evidence" Leave.EU And Arron Banks Committed Electoral Crime, Says NCA

24 September 2019, 09:03 | Updated: 24 September 2019, 09:34

Arron Banks
Arron Banks. Picture: PA

The National Crime Agency has said it has found "no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed" after the Electoral Commission referred allegations against Leave.EU and businessman Arron Banks.

The Electoral Commission had referred the allegations to the NCA.

But, in a statement the NCA said it had "found no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed under PPERA or company law by any of the individuals or organisations referred to it by the Electoral Commission.

The National Crime Agency added: "There have also been media reports alleging that Mr Banks has been involved in other criminality related to business dealings overseas. The NCA neither confirms nor denies that it is investigating these reports.

"It will therefore take no further action against Mr Banks, Ms Bilney, Better for the Country Ltd or Leave.EU in respect of this specific matter."

Leave.EU chief executive Liz Bilney accused the Electoral Commission of being biased.

She tweeted: "Met Police - investigation dropped. NCA - investigation dropped. Both referrals from the Remain biased Electoral Commission fuelled by Damian Collins, Stephen Kinnock, Molly Scott Cato, Caroline Lucas. Remain MPs desperately trying to overturn the result of the Referendum."

The Electoral Commission has said the Leave.EU case highlighted an "apparent weakness" in the law which allowed foreign money into British politics.

A spokesperson said: "We are concerned about the apparent weakness in the law, highlighted by this investigation outcome, which allows overseas funds into UK politics.

"We have made recommendations that would tighten the rules on campaign funding and deter breaches. We urge the UK's governments to act on those recommendations to support voter confidence.

"Significant sums were spent on campaigning at the 2016 EU referendum and it is vital that voters have transparency over the way these campaigns were funded.

"It is therefore right that suspected offences are investigated by the appropriate authorities, as the NCA has done in this case."