National Crime Agency: No Evidence of Criminality by Brexit Campaign Leave.EU

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Businessman and co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign, Arron Banks speaks with demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament on March 27, 2019 in London, England. Today MPs will Vote on alternative plans for Brexit. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Britain’s equivalent of the FBI, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has dropped its investigation into a network of pro-Brexit groups and individuals including Aaron Banks and Leave.EU, saying they could find “no evidence” of any crimes.

The investigation by the NCA into Leave.EU, Better for the Country Ltd, Arron 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 itself has been persistently dogged by claims over its 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 said in a statement:

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 follows a separate move earlier this month by the Metropolitan Police that their own investigation into alleged criminality by the Leave.EU campaign was being wound up as they had 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.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.