Boris Johnson to face court questions about Brexit claims

Boris Johnson to face court questions about Brexit claims

Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace Theresa May as United Kingdom prime minister, must appear in court over allegations he lied to the public about Brexit, a British judge has ruled.

The favourite to win the Tory leadership race faces a private prosecution by campaigner Marcus Ball.

A legal team assembled by Ball, who has accused the former foreign secretary of misconduct in public office and raised more than £200,000 to finance the prosecution, laid out their case in front of a judge.

Matt Hancock, one of the Conservative candidates vying for Prime Minister Theresa May's job, said a no-deal Brexit was not an option for Britain's next leader as the speaker of parliament would thwart it, the Financial Times reported.

In her written ruling at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, Coleman said the accusations were not proven.

The charges are indictable only, which means they must be dealt with in a crown court.

A district judge has ruled that Boris Johnson had a case to make in court, and issued a summons ruling for the Tory leadership hopeful to attend to respond to the claims. He will appear at crown court to answer the claims that he lied and committed criminal offences by making the claim Britain sent the European Union £350m a week in 2016.

"Its true goal is not that it should succeed, but that it should be made at all", his lawyer said.

A source close to Johnson attempted to frame the court case as "nothing less than a politically motivated attempt to reverse Brexit and crush the will of the people".

Reacting to the news, barrister Andrew Keogh (tweeting as CrimeLine) explained that there was still a "VERY long way to go", with a judicial review of the decision to issue a summons the likely next step for Johnson.

In February, Tusk said that there was a "special place in hell" for Brexit campaigners who had not devised a feasible plan for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.

This was a core claim of the official campaign for leaving the EU, "Vote Leave", with the message famously plastered across the group's campaign bus.

"The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest".

In submissions to the court, Johnson's lawyers said the application was a stunt, brought for purely political purposes. "It was, we say, criminal".

"The UK has never sent, given or provided £350 million a week to Europe - that statement is simply not ambiguous", Mr Ball has previously said.

Originally from Norfolk, he has worked full-time on the prosecution case since June 2016.

It was announced today that Mr Johnson will have to appear before court to face accusations of misconduct in public office.

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