Wednesday 14 August 2019 1:26 pm

UK court blocks private prosecution over Boris Johnson's Brexit bus claim

A campaigner attempting to prosecute the Prime Minister over claims that Britain would be £350m a week better off after leaving the EU has lost his bid to take the case to the UK’s Supreme Court.

Marcus Ball was seeking to bring a crowdfunded private prosecution against Boris Johnson for misconduct in public office over the claims made on the side of his Brexit battle bus during the 2016 referendum.

The claim, which earned a rebuke from the chair of the UK Statistics Authority as “a clear misuse of official statistics”, was seen by many as critical to the Leave victory.

In May, a magistrate ruled that Johnson should face charges but that decision was overturned in June by the High Court, after judges concluded that the magistrate’s decision was flawed.

Ball had asked for permission to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court but on Wednesday his application to do so was refused by the High Court.

“This is a case of alleged misconduct in public office against the prime minister of the United Kingdom concerning repeated lies about the spending of the public purse,” Ball said in a statement after the decision.

“It concerns the duties of Members of Parliament and mayors of London and as such goes to the heart of the United Kingdom’s democratic process and public trust in it. Yet, according to Lady Justice Rafferty these are not matters of public importance.”