Joint announcement by The Electoral Commission, Mr Robert Posner, Mr Arron Banks and Ms Elizabeth Bilney
The Electoral Commission, its Chief Executive Mr Robert Posner, Mr Arron Banks and Ms Elizabeth Bilney wish to announce that they have agreed amicable terms of settlement of a complaint raised by Mr Banks and Ms Bilney over the Electoral Commission's announcement on 1 November 2018 of its referral of Mr Banks and Ms Bilney to the National Crime Agency for further investigation over possible electoral offences in connection with the UK's 2016 EU membership referendum.
The NCA stated publicly on 24 September 2019 that having investigated the matters referred by the Electoral Commission, it found that there was no evidence of any criminal offences having been committed by Mr Banks and Ms Bilney. In carrying out its complex investigation the NCA had analysed information, including banking information, which had not formed part of the Commission’s investigation. A copy of the statement can be found at https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/public-statement-on-nca-investigation-into-suspected-eu-referendum-offences. The NCA further notified the Electoral Commission that its investigation showed that the monies Mr Banks used to fund the loans came from the group of companies of which Mr Banks was the ultimate beneficial owner.
Mr Banks and Ms Bilney consider that if the Electoral Commission had applied the law on the loans, the matter would never have been referred to the NCA. The Electoral Commission considers it was right to refer this matter to the NCA for further investigation, but confirms that it accepts (a) the NCA’s conclusions that it found no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed under PPERA or company law by Mr Banks or Ms Bilney; and (b) the NCA had not received any evidence to suggest that Mr Banks or his companies received funding from any third party to fund the loans, or that he acted as an agent on behalf of a third party.
The parties are pleased to have reached accommodation and to be able to put this matter behind them.