Met backtracks and says it is looking at Vote Leave

The Mayor has said that the Met Police are looking through 2,000 documents received as evidence against the two leave campaigns and Vote Leave, with a view to pursue criminal proceedings, in response to my questions in the Assembly today.

The Mayor blamed a rogue Met press officer for news reports that an investigation into the EU referendum leave campaign had been shelved due to ‘political sensitivities’ but admitted he hadn’t discussed the inaccurate leak with the Met Commissioner.

In his statement to me in the Assembly he reported that the delay was due to the receipt by the Met only in early September of 2,000 documents of evidence from the Electoral Commission. However the Electoral Commission published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of in a May and Vote Leave in July and said at the time its evidence had already been submitted.

The EU referendum has divided our country, torn apart families and friends and made all of our futures uncertain.

Any suspicions or evidence of wrongdoing by any political party, pressure group or campaign must be thoroughly investigated and appropriate sanctions taken. Justice can not be delayed at this crucial time in our history, and we cannot allow people who break laws to go unchallenged and unpunished.

The Mayor said:

“My office have been informed by the Met that the news report is inaccurate. The Electoral Commission has made two referral to the Met Police Service in relation to the EU referendum… in relation to both referrals the relevant documentary evidence was only received on the seventh of September 2018 when the Met was provided with over 2,000 documents.”

I spoke to campaigners Unlock Democracy after the meeting in this video.

The Mayor’s statement has come under scrutiny by the reporters investigating this at Open Democracy. See their report here showing that the Electoral Commission confirmed it had told the Met the documents were ready earlier in the year but they had simply not been picked up.

Watch my questions in the Assembly: