• Vote Leave Campaign

    08 August 2018

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about the Vote Leave campaign.
    It is of course a concern that electoral rules have been found to have been breached by the Vote Leave and BeLeave campaigns. It is not acceptable for any organisation to breach election procedures - and it is regrettable that fines have been levied on multiple groups on both sides of the referendum campaigns. This has included fines against Britain Stronger in Europe and the Liberal Democrats.
    Electoral law exists to ensure fair campaigning and it is right that the Electoral Commission undertakes independent investigations of any complaints and has the necessary powers to protect our electoral system and our democracy.
    There are now ongoing legal processes - there are legal challenges to its findings, and the police must consider whether there has been any breach of criminal law. There is an important constitutional principle that politicians do not interfere with police investigations, and that in any trial everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. There must be due process and a fair hearing. Now that Vote Leave and BeLeave have been referred to the police, it would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing police investigation.
    I appreciate you have strong feelings on the referendum, but the Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that there will be no second referendum. With 17.4 million votes to leave the European Union, more people voted for Brexit than have ever voted for anything else in the UK. The public delivered a clear verdict and my colleagues and I will continue to implement the referendum result and to make a success of it.
    The Electoral Commission has previously estimated that pro-Remain groups outspent pro-Leave groups by £4 million - this gap remains the case. The £4 million difference excludes additional Government spending of £9.3 million on pro-EU membership leaflets and digital advertising before the referendum purdah period.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General