Brexit big guns try to shoot down claim of illegal campaign spending

'Illegal' co-ordination won Brexit vote, claims whistleblower

Vote Leave has strongly denied wrongdoing and said the £625,000 donated to BeLeave was within the rules.

Several photographs released on Monday also showed Mr. Massingham and AIQ's chief technology officer, Jeff Silvester, working at the Vote Leave headquarters in London during the referendum campaign.

"If people start thinking they can go around undermining the law on it, then I think that's actually a really bad step for our democracy".

Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Chris Grayling were among senior politicians involved in the Vote Leave campaign.

Bindmans partner Tamsin Allen said the information upon which the legal opinion was based had been passed to the Electoral Commission, which did not have access to it at the time of its earlier inquiry into Vote Leave.

"By the time the inquiries are over, the Observer will look really silly for making a hero out of a fantasist-charlatan, we'll already have left the European Union, and Zoolander will need a new look".

Mr Parkinson, a political appointee who is employed by the Conservative Party, said he believed it was inevitable details of their relationship would become known once Mr Sanni made a decision to go public with his allegations in interviews with Channel 4 News and the Observer.

Mr Parkinson, who at the time was a senior Vote Leave figure, disclosed on Friday that he had been in an 18-month personal relationship with fellow Brexit campaigner Mr Sanni.

"You tried to set up in business as a type of CA, hawking your wares to Vote Leave and they said no, and now you are here in front of the committee, making suggestions about Brexit", said Tory MP Julian Knight.

"These allegations are stunning and touch directly on one of Theresa May's closest advisers", he said, adding: "These allegations must be examined by the police. If they represent what happened it is outrageous and shameful".

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Mr Parkinson told how he was "saddened" by the "factually incorrect and misleading" statements by Mr Sanni and his lawyers.

'Almost two-thirds of a million pounds makes all the difference and it wasn't legal'.

"In these circumstances, there are certainly reasonable grounds for the Commission to use its powers... to investigate whether any election offences committed by Vote Leave and Mr Halsall were committed with the knowledge, assistance and agreement of other senior figures/officers in Vote Leave, including Mr Parkinson and Ms Watson".

'Twice since the referendum the commission has investigated this matter, and twice it has found no evidence of wrongdoing.

He said he was confident that the third investigation would produce the same result. It's nearly like I wonder what they're going to do this week.

"I firmly deny the allegations in the programme".

If the money was recorded as Vote Leave expenditure, spending on the campaign would have topped the £7m limit and establish a "prima facie case" that electoral law was broken.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom told Sky News' Sunday with Niall Paterson it was an "incredibly hard area" but "Stephen Parkinson has said the reason for his statement was because the context of the background of these allegations is very important".

"We will as appropriate share any relevant findings with the Electoral Commission, again as we have always done".

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