LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - A former pro-Brexit activist has accused a group which campaigned to take Britain out of the European Union of breaking spending limits before the 2016 referendum, Britain’s Channel 4 television reported, a charge denied by the campaign group.
Shahmir Sanni, a former volunteer with the Vote Leave group, told Channel 4 that Vote Leave’s donation of 625,000-pound ($883,375) to another Brexit campaign group, BeLeave, meant it violated spending rules because the groups worked together.
“In effect they used BeLeave to overspend and not just by a small amount,” Sanni told the TV channel. “They say that it wasn’t coordinated but it was. So the idea that the campaign was legitimate is false.”
Dominic Cummings, a former Vote Leave director, denied his group broke any rules, saying it had received permission from the Electoral Commission to make donations in the run-up to the referendum.
In a post on his blog, Cummings also said the allegations were part of an attempt by supporters of Britain’s continued EU membership to overturn the referendum decision to leave.
Nearly two years after the vote, British public opinion remains split on the merits of leaving the EU, with each side accusing the other of having misled voters. The government says Britain will leave on schedule in March 2019 without a another referendum.
Sanni told Channel 4 and the Observer newspaper that BeLeave shared offices with Vote Leave, which offered advice and assistance to Beleave.
Sanni has presented his evidence to Britain’s Electoral Commission, Channel 4 and the Observer said.
Channel 4 quoted a lawyer for Vote Leave as saying the group was reviewing Sanni’s accusations and also said the Electoral Commission had previously cleared Vote Leave twice on issues about the campaign raised by Sanni.
$1 = 0.7075 pounds Writing by William Schomberg Editing by Edmund Blair