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Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Tuesday 23 July 2019

Former student who founded a Brexit youth campaign has been fined £20,000 for breaking the law


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Ex-fashion student Darren Grimes, creator of the Brexit youth campaign ‘BeLeave’ campaign has been fined £20,000 and referred to the police. 

This comes after Brexit campaign Vote Leave exceeded their £7 million and allegedly peddled an extra £675,315 through Grimes' BeLeave. 

Following the revelation, the Vote Leave campaign was fined £61,000 and referred to the police after the Electoral Commission found evidence the campaign broke the law. 

The two conflicting official campaigns, Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe, were permitted to spend no more than £7m each on their campaign in the period leading up to the referendum.

As Vote Leave was swiftly approaching their expenditure cap just days before the Referendum, the campaign passed £625,000 to BeLeave; a virtually unheard-of movement which had only scored 6,300 Facebook likes, according to The Independent, and was being run by a 22-year-old with a non-existent record in overseeing wealthy political campaigns.

Following an added donation of £50,000, the £675,315 which Darren’s campaign then possessed, was instantly transferred to AggregateIQ - a controversial Canadian technology firm. 

The official campaigns were prohibited from offering minor campaigns like BeLeave expenditure direction, said the BBC.

BeLeave is said to have been nursed by Vote Leave as they operated out of their head office.

However, Grimes claims that he ticked the wrong box on a form.

Whistleblower Shahmir Sanni, appointed by Vote Leave to work on the BeLeave campaign, voiced to Channel 4 News that “Vote Leave cheated,” adding that Grimes was neither independent of Vote Leave nor in control over how the money was spent.

Some now believe that Grimes and his campaign's involvement with Vote Leave to dishonestly acquire the aid of AggregateIQ is what settled the decision to leave the European Union.

AggregateIQ previously quoted on their website a tribute from Dominic Cummings, the campaign director of Vote Leave, to them which said: “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

In defence of his actions, Grimes tweeted yesterday: “You'd think the left's emphatically pro-EU lobby would welcome the participation of a young working-class lad from County Durham who was brought up in a single-parent household (who also happens to be gay) – but a Brexit-backing homo on the right doesn't do it for them apparently.”

Grimes, who in 2015 told the BBC “I don’t have that luxury of being able to progress up the social ladder,” stands as one of the largest backed unofficial Referendum campaigners; a huge gamble which has not only not paid off but unexpectedly backfired.

Featured image courtesy of Ilovetheeu 

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