Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
James O'Brien Says Everyone Needs To Know What Vote Leave Did On Friday
1 April 2019, 11:03
James O'Brien laid into the press after Vote Leave withdrew their appeal against their fine for breaking electoral laws - and it barely got a mention by the media.
The Electoral Commission fined Vote Leave £61,000 after ruling it exceeded the £7m spending limit during the referendum.
The Vote Leave campaign was found to have funnelled £675,315 through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave, days before the referendum in 2016 in a bid to avoid spending limits.
They immediately claimed they had been stitched up and vowed to appeal. But on Friday afternoon - the day that was supposed to be the day the UK leave the EU - they quietly withdrew that appeal.
James said that the timing suggests their plan may have been to get Brexit over the line before admitting their wrong-doing.
Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "We've been turned into a country where, in a campaign ostensibly dedicated to promoting British laws and democracy and transparency, can like a weasel in the night, remove its appeal late on a Friday, secure in the knowledge that the people paid to keep the country informed of the important issues facing the country will be largely quiet because they are all embedded in their own support for this ludicrous project.
"Of course we can't properly report on the fact that Vote Leave were found guilty of electoral offences by the Electoral Commission, insisted shrilly that they had done nothing wrong, nothing to see here.
"That's what we've done to Britain. Turned it into a country here the winners are proven that they have cheated, to have broken the law, to have ridden roughshod over what we would all have considered to be the finest traditions of British democracy.
"And they do so with barely a peep from the people paid to keep you informed and up to date."