A campaigner who had been pushing for the prosecution of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for allegedly lying during the 2016 EU membership referendum has had his bid to take the case to the Supreme Court blocked on Wednesday, as reported by Sky News.
29-year old lawyer Marcus Ball has put together a crowdfunded prosecution against the PM for misconduct in public office regarding the '350 million pounds ($445 million) a week to the NHS' claim emblazoned on the side of a large red bus which he drove around UK streets.
A magistrate had previously agreed in May that the newly crowned prime minister should be summoned to court to face the charges regarding false claims.
That decision was overruled by London's High Court however the following month.
The judges decided instead to back the argument made by Boris Johnson's lawyer, that the magistrate's original decision was flawed.
According to the full ruling published by the High Court Judges in July, the “problem of false statements in the course of political campaigning is not new.”
The attempt to turn the case over to the Supreme Court was turned down by Lady Justice Rafferty, who said:
“This application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court is rejected."
Both Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Supperstone explained that there was no legal basis for prosecuting 'false' arguments and they would not amount to neglect of duties or the abuse of state power.
“There is no precedent for any office holder being prosecuted for misconduct in public office for wilfully making or endorsing a misleading statement in and for the purposes of political campaigning.” as reported in the ruling.
Johnson's lawyer went on to accuse the process of being "politically motivated."
The judges mirrored this accusation by confirmed that Mr Ball had removed declarations on his social media history where he discussed legal routes to “prevent Brexit”, as well as openly labeling himself “pro-Remain”.
Boris Johnson is doing very nicely😎👌For the first time in recent years the Conservatives are regrouping + doubling their numbers + Brexit is the catalyst to which it's survival is based👌Even better news for BORIS, MARCUS BALL🐍HAS CONCEDED ANOTHER LOSS AT THE HIGH COURT!!🤣 🤣— Graham Shoebridge (@Grahamshoebrid3) August 14, 2019
Mr Ball has rallied his legal team to consider options such as making a direct appeal to the Supreme Court or even bringing it to the European courts.
“This isn't over, we are not giving up,” he declared.
“We are pursuing it, absolutely."
The case began in February after Mr Ball accused Vote Leave and Mr Johnson of "misleading the public.
The crowdfund has since received £394,873 with over 10,800 pledged supporters. It was put together on the basis that Ball and his team of researchers believed that "a criminal case" could be brought against Boris Johnson.