Boris Johnson has told enough porkies. It's time to resign.

Back in 2016 when Boris Johnson made the decision to plaster propaganda about Brexit all over London buses and billboards; he informed the public that we were having to pay the EU “£350 million a week”. A man named Marcus Ball resolved to take action and prosecute Johnson for his dishonesty to the public and potentially swaying the voter’s decisions. The allegations Johnson made about the EU were ruled as “unproven” and that there were no “findings of fact” in the magistrate’s court by district judge Margot Coleman. The case then went to the high court in 2019 where he was accused of abusing the public’s trust as a man in public office which is a common law offence and is punishable with up to life imprisonment(*). There is no doubt that he was trying to claim political advantage by abusing his authority as a politician and intentionally misleading the public to influence their votes.

Johnson had the best lawyers to defend him, hence not seeing the need to show himself at the hearing. His lawyers argued that Mr Ball’s claims were vexatious and politically motivated and that they should therefore be disregarded; they also argued that it was not a deceitful because £350 million was gross, not net; they did not include the rebate (what we receive in return from the EU) which is around £4 billion a year. Nevertheless, paying £350 million would come to a sum of £18 billion a year which is a phenomenal miscalculation (or deliberate lie?) on our Prime Minister’s behalf. Regardless of the outright deception of the public, the case was overthrown because of claims that the judge was erred in law. One of the ingredients of the offense was that the claimant, a public officer and acting as such, misconducted himself but it was argued that ‘acting as such’ implied that he was fulfilling duties of the office, which he was not and therefore the judge was erred. Because Boris Johnson had access to the best lawyers, they were able to find a ‘loophole’, if you will, and free him from any charges irrespective of his actions which consequently resulted to the mislead of many voters. ** After the court case, Mr Darbishire (representing Boris Johnson) declared that the prosecution was in "an area of public life that has never previously been subject to the attentions of the criminal law". This statement begs the question, just because something has never been subject to the attention of the law, does it justify its being ignored?

As Marcus Ball came out of court, he said that Johnson does not, “have the right to lie to the public about how their money is being spent” and later on that he “will keep fighting”. Johnson betrayed the trust of the public as a man in public office and consequently received no penalty of any sort. The illegality of the subject is still in dispute however, if it is legal for someone of his status to be able to deceive and manipulate us, clearly, we need new laws to be set in place to prevent it happening.

As a country, we cannot conceivably have a Prime Minister that knowingly distributes false information to the public, hence abusing his power, to sway the vote of the people; this is not how a democracy should be run. A PM acting in such a way should step down and allow someone of more competence to fulfil their duties. We ought to have a leader that will not manipulate us, deceive us nor abuse the power we allow them to have.

*There are four ingredients to the common law offence of misconduct in public office which are: a public officer acting as; such wilfully neglects to perform his or her duty and/or wilfully misconducts him or herself; to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder; without reasonable excuse or justification.

**All information concerning the court case in this article was interpreted from the published judgement of the case with the case No: CO/2148/2019.

Photo by Jannes Van den wouwer on Unsplash