BORIS JOHNSON will not face a criminal prosecution over claims he made during the referendum campaign about the UK sending £350million a week to the EU, after winning a High Court challenge.
The former foreign secretary (pictured) was summonsed last month to Westminster magistrates’ court to face three allegations of misconduct in public office.
But following a hearing in London today, Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Supperstone overturned the decision.
Addressing Mr Johnson’s barrister, Adrian Darbishire QC, Lady Justice Rafferty said: ‘We are persuaded, Mr Darbishire, so you succeed, and the relief that we grant is the quashing of the summonses.’
The judge said reasons for the court’s ruling would be given at a later date.
Campaigner Marcus Ball claimed Mr Johnson lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying Britain gave £350million a week to the European Union.
He crowdfunded more than £300,000 to bring the prosecution.
The £350million figure was emblazoned on the red campaign bus used by Vote Leave during the referendum, with the slogan ‘We send the EU £350million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead’.
Mr Darbishire argued that the attempt to prosecute Mr Johnson was ‘politically motivated and vexatious’.
Mr Johnson, front runner in the Tory leadership contest, did not have to appear and did not attend the High Court hearing.
Speaking outside court, Mr Ball said: ‘We have to wait and see the reasons for their [the judges’] decision.
‘When we have those reasons I’m going to make a decision as to what to do next.’
Mr Ball added: ‘We have just given the green light for every politician to lie to us about our money for ever. That is a terrifying idea.’
Home secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: ‘Very glad to see the court case against @BorisJohnson thrown out.
‘Freedom of speech feels increasingly challenged — we should always seek to debate political arguments in the open rather than close them down.’