To the BBC’s credit, at least this morning’s edition of The Andy Marr Show™ tackled the issue of Vote Leave spending around £675,000 more than they were legally allowed to during the EU referendum campaign. To this end, VL’s former campaign committee chair Gisela Stuart was subjected to a little light grilling by the host (Michael “Oiky” Gove and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson were, sadly, attending another hair appointment).
Taking control may involve acts of dishonesty
Marr put it to her directly: Vote Leave broke the law. It had dropped the pretence of appealing against the Electoral Commission’s imposition of a £61,000 fine, and indeed had paid up. What was her excuse? Well, Ms Stuart had plenty of excuses, but sadly for her and her Tory pals, very little credibility to go with them.
Sadly, VL’s data had all been wiped. As innocent parties do. This is the equivalent of saying “The dog ate my homework, and so I had it put down”. This was held up as the reason VL was unable to prove its innocence, rather than fuelling the suspicion that the campaign had something to hide that was even worse than Dominic Cummings.
And if that was eyebrow-raising, there was more to come as Ms Stuart deployed the excuse tried earlier - also without success - by the deeply dishonest Matthew Elliott. VL, she asserted, wanted to cooperate with the EC, but the EC didn’t want to talk to them. This is total crap. The EC wanted to talk to VL; VL refused, and continued to refuse. Later, only after the EC had drawn its conclusions, did VL offer to talk. By then it was too late.
So the EC told them there was no point. VL have been spinning that this was the EC’s fault, and have been called out for it, for months now. But hey ho, and on to the next attempt at deflection. The Government, she claimed, had spent all those millions on one leaflet and this meant the rotten Remain lot outspent VL. This is also total crap.
The Government leaflet reflected the Government’s position, not that of the Remain campaign. The idea that the cost of that leaflet can be classified as Remain spending is therefore spurious. Gisela Stuart and the rest of her merry band know this. So it has to be concluded that she just decided to lie her way out of it.
Still, there was one last change at redemption: Marr suggested an apology might be in order. Would she care to offer one? As if. Being Vote Leave means never having to say you’re sorry, despite, as whistleblower Shahmir Sanni pointed out, “She hired AIQ to work on her organisation after the referendum. Gisela Stuart has been central to the crimes”.
There’s a good reason Ms Stuart was evasive and dishonest on the Marr Show this morning. And that’s because she is in this up to her neck. But at least she was prepared to face the cameras. Matthew Elliott, Dominic Cummings, Gove, Bozza and many others presumably were not. This saga has longer to run. A lot longer.
Vote Leave broke the law. And all they offer is lies. That’s not good enough.
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