The top cops at the National Crime Agency (NCA) have ended an investigation into allegations from pro – EU supporters into alleged criminality among Brexit campaign groups and individuals including Aaron Banks and Leave.EU, saying they could find “no evidence” of any crimes.
Ironically, after three years of screechhing about Leave campaign crimes, last week a court found that the Remain campaign had broken electoral law, after the electoral law commission, showing their pro – EU bias not for the first time, had exonerated the Reamainers.
The investigation into Leave EU and Better for the Country Ltd, sponsored byArron Banks, and Elizabeth Bilney were triggered after Britain’s electoral commission referred their own investigation to the top crime-fighting agency over conduct during the 2016 referendum.
The Electoral Commission referred the case to the NCA last year, saying it suspected a third party was the original source of the money. In a public statement on Tuesday, the NCA said it found “no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed” by Banks. Likewise, no evidence was found that he “received funding from any third party to fund the loans, or that he acted as an agent on behalf of a third party.”
The third party was presumed to be the government of Russia, which many Remainers accuse of boosting their Leave supporting opponents financially and with clandestine activities on social media. This notion may, for some, ease the pain caused by the cringeworthy way the UK is now parting ways with the EU, but it has a few problems in terms of actual evidence.
The NCA’s announcement is the second blow to the narrative in as many weeks. Earlier, the Metropolitan Police said they will take no further action against Banks and Leave.EU over alleged spending offences. That probe was also launched at the request of the Electoral Commission and found “some technical breaches of electoral law” but “insufficient evidence to justify any further criminal investigation,” the statement said.
The electoral commission itself has been discredited by claims regarding its lack of impartiality and apparent anti-Brexit bias, and Mr Banks said Tuesday he would be taking the commission to court over their persecution of him. The NCA commented:
In carrying out its complex investigation the NCA analysed information, including banking information, which had not formed part of the Electoral Commission’s investigation. It also interviewed Mr Banks and Ms Bilney.
In reaching its decision, the NCA obtained advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and expert independent counsel due to the technical nature of PPERA offences and the company structures involved.
…The NCA has 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. 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.
This investigation has been subject to press and social media commentary. The NCA has not received any evidence to suggest that Mr Banks and his companies received funding from any third party to fund the loans, or that he acted as an agent on behalf of a third party.
The announcement was made in the wake of a separate move earlier this month by the Metropolitan Police, ending their own investigation into alleged criminality by the Leave.EU campaign, having found nothing to investigate.
“It was right to investigate the allegation [against Leave.EU], however following detailed enquiries it became apparent that the nature of potential breaches of the regulations, the criminal standard of proof required in court and the actions taken by Leave.EU to adhere to the regulations, mean that it is now appropriate to take no further action,” explained Commander Alex Murray, of the force’s Central Specialist Crime team.