Remain-leaning commentators have reacted with alarm to a refusal by Scotland Yard to investigate groups on the other side of the European divide after both Vote Leave and Leave.EU were found to have breached electoral law by making false declarations and hiding campaign spending at the time of the 2016 EU referendum.
The Electoral Commission has already levied substantial fines against both organisations for these transgressions, but this has not assuaged some, who have been calling on the police to intervene and investigate key individuals for any potential criminal offences.
Scotland Yard is currently assessing available evidence to see if this might be so but has made little progress, informing Open Democracy UK that this is in part related to ‘political sensitivities’ surrounding the charges.
Commenting on the glacial progress of the investigation thus far on Twitter Carole Cadwalladr, a writer for the Guardian and Observer, lashed out, tweeting: “We knew everything about it stank. But we’ve now dialed it up to banana republic levels of corruption.”
This is HUGE. Met police NOT investigating criminal behaviour by Leave campaigns citing ‘political sensitivities’. AFTER Electoral Commission rules they broke law and hands over evidence. https://t.co/tCMfHUobvR
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) October 11, 2018
The Electoral Commission itself has come under fire however after the High Court ruled that it had misinterpreted EU referendum spending laws in fining Vote Leave over a £625k payment to BeLeave organizer Darren Grimes.