It seems that the referendum campaign transgressions of the Vote Leave campaign, headed by the serially dishonest Matthew Elliott and fronted by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pal Michael “Oiky” Gove, are still a sore point with some of those tangentially involved, something that became apparent yesterday when the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr returned to the subject.
After seeing the news that Gove was allegedly going to oversee what is being grandly called “A UK Constitutional review”, she mused “This is such a scandal & is a direct result of press & parliament’s failure to hold Gove to account for his part in Vote Leave fraud - an investigation which began *only* after [Jolyon Maugham QC at the Good Law Project] threatened a judicial review”. And guess who was ready and waiting to reply?
To no surprise at all, that person was self-promoting pundit and excuser of press misbehaviour Sarah “Vain” Vine, who also, by complete coincidence you understand, is married to “Oiky” Gove. She wasn’t trying to put the frighteners on Ms Cadwalladr, but she was going to come over just slightly heavily. “I'm pretty sure this is libellous”. Yeah, leftie features, watch out or you’ll have another legal headache to add to Banksy’s!
Sadly, it soon became clear that this campaign was going to develop not necessarily to Ms Vine’s advantage, as one Tweeter pointed out that Arron Banks has now dropped part of his claim against Ms Cadwalladr. “Leavers again threatening libel to try to smother dissent. But Carole Carwalladr winner of the Orwell Prize & Pulitzer Prize finalist for her investigation of [Cambridge Analytica] knows her stuff...Banks now making tactical retreat. Btw - have you won any journalism awards Sarah?” Ouch!
Jacqueline Murphy, though, thought Gove should try his luck, but maybe not out of sympathy for Ms Vine. “Go on Sarah; get hubby to sue. [Ian Lucas] wrote to him several times, as a member of the DCMS select committee, to ask on exactly what date [Michael Gove] was made aware of the Vote Leave fraud. He refuses to answer to Parliament. If he was innocent he would respond … Dare you”. Ian Lucas, you say?
The former Labour MP was next up. “I think you need an open and honest conversation with [Michael Gove] … Good luck”. Fionna O’Leary added “Tell him to go ahead and sue. Then, maybe, we will have some forensically examined, Independent, court ordered disclosures and answers”. Ian Young had another idea. “If Keir Starmer represents [Carole Cadwalladr] he can call Cummings as a witness and have a real PMQs”. Wallop!
And just to put the lid on, Peter Jukes of Byline Media put Ms Vine straight. “Vote Leave electoral fraud over BeLeave is as finding in fact, fines accepted by Vote Leave and appeal dropped. As a senior campaign figure at daily briefings, Carole is merely asking what was his role? He’s never addressed it”. Quite. Hardly worth her while trying that one, then.
If the Goves want to spray a few bags of sand up the wall making pointless legal threats, they are free to do so. But they should not expect anyone to take them seriously.APPEAL The Legalballs Fund: I made a mistake. Now I need to raise £16,500 to cover a legal bill. You can chip in to help me HERE - all help is gratefully received. Thanks for reading this far!