Friday 7 June 2019 1:23 pm

High Court blocks Boris Johnson court summons over Brexit claim

Boris Johnson has won a legal challenge against a High Court summons to face charges of misconduct in a public office.

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The charges related to his Brexit referendum claim that the UK pays the EU £350m a week.

Earlier today Johnson’s lawyers argued that the private prosecution was “vexatious” and “politically motivated”.

The Tory leadership contender was due to face the charges in crown court.

But his lawyer, Adrian Darbishire, said the original Westminster Magistrate Court judge should not have let the case proceed.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is denied by the claimant that he acted in any way improperly or dishonestly,” Johnson’s legal counsel said.

“Public debate about the accuracy or otherwise of the £350m continues to this day.”

A judge ruled last week that there was a case for the Conservative heavyweight to answer.

Judge Coleman said: “The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact. Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted.”

The private prosecution was brought by Marcus Ball, who crowdfunded more than £300,000 to bring the case.

He had claimed that Johnson had “repeatedly lied and misled the British public as to the cost of EU membership”.

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However, Johnson’s legal counsel had responded that the case was a “political stunt”.

“A complaint about the way in which a political campaigner has deployed publicly-available statistics in the services of a political debate is not a proper basis for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office,” they added.