Victory for Boris: Campaigner LOSES legal bid to force PM to court over £350m Brexit bus

CAMPAIGNER Marcus Ball has lost his legal fight against Boris Johnson over the £350 million EU referendum bus claim which he took to the Supreme Court.

The Prime Minister is accused of falsely claiming being part of the European Union cost the UK £350 million a week. The claim was even plastered on the side of a bus that went around the country during the referendum and was one of the reasons 52 per cent of the electorate voted in favour of leaving the European bloc. Mr Bell, an anti-Brexit campaigner, crowdfunded more than £350,000 to bring his claim to the courts, Euronews reported.

District judge Margot Coleman issued Mr Johnson with a summons on May 29 to face three allegations of misconduct in public office at Westminster magistrates court.

But this was overturned after a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in June.

Now Mr Ball has been unsuccessful in his attempt to take the legal fight to the supreme court.

Lady Justice Rafferty threw out te application today.

Boris Johnson and the Brexit battle bus

Anti-Brexit campaigner Marcus Bell has lost his case in the Supreme Court (Image: GETTY)

Mr Johnson was summoned to Westminster magistrates court in May

Mr Johnson was summoned to Westminster magistrates court in May (Image: getty)

She was one of the high court judges who quashed the original decision.

She said: “This application for leave to appeal to the supreme court is rejected.”

Mr Ball can now apply directly to the supreme court for permission.

He said after the ruling: “This isn’t over, we are not giving up.

READ MORE: ‘People’s PMQs!’ Boris Johnson sends panic through Downing Street 

The Brexit bus was used during the 2016 EU referendum

The Brexit bus was used during the 2016 EU referendum (Image: getty)

“We are pursuing it, absolutely.”

Lady Justice Rafferty said the “problem of false statements in the course of political campaigning is not new”.

She added parliament had enacted laws to deal with “certain false campaign statements which it considers an illegal practice”.

But she added this did not include false statements relating to publicly available statistics.

She also said it appeared that “there would have been no complaint” if Johnson had used a figure of “350 million per week gross, or 250 million per week net”.

DON'T MISS
Pay for NHS: Hospital bosses warning to EU citizens after Brexit [REVEALED]
IDS brands Hammond a 'political criminal' over Brexit failure [INSIGHT]
Can John Bercow stop Boris Johnson from proroguing parliament? [ANALYSIS]

Mr Johnson is facing opposition from MPs over his Brexit plans

Mr Johnson is facing opposition from MPs over his Brexit plans (Image: getty)

Meanwhile, the European Commission said Britain needs to explain its ideas on the way forward for Brexit if talks are to progress.

Vanessa Mock, a European Commission spokeswoman, told a regular media briefing in Brussels: "President (Jean-Claude Juncker) told Prime Minister Johnson on July 25 that we're available should the United Kingdom wish to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail.

"We're ready to analyse any concrete proposals that are compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement, and also ready to rework the future relationship as outlined in the Political Declaration.

"The UK knows well that our doors remain open to that effect.

"But for the talks to progress the UK Government needs to explain its ideas on how it sees the way forward, respecting the commitments it took earlier in these negotiations."

Asked if the refusal to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement also holds for any future British government, such as a Labour administration, Ms Mock replied: "Our doors are open to discuss with the UK authorities, I never said anything about refusal, but I won't go beyond what I said."

Boris Johnson is ramping up efforts to ensure Brexit is delivered on October 31 with or without a deal

Boris Johnson is ramping up efforts to ensure Brexit is delivered on October 31 with or without a de (Image: getty)

Mr Johnson is also facing further oppostion to his Brexit plans, as the House of Commons speaker John Bercow plans to block him from bypassing parliament to take Britain out of the European Union, the Telegraph newspaper reported today.

He told an audience at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland that MPs can prevent a no-deal Brexit and that he would fight any attempt to prorogue, or suspend, parliament "with every bone in my body''.

He said: "We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down - we are a democratic society.

"And parliament will be heard and nobody is going to get away, as far as I am concerned, with stopping that happening."

Mr Johnson took over as Prime Minister from Theresa May after he deal was rejected three times

Mr Johnson took over as Prime Minister from Theresa May after he deal was rejected three times (Image: getty)

Mr Johnson has said Britain will leave the the trading bloc on Halloween, whether it has a divorce agreement or not, even though a majority of MPs oppose that.

They have been investigating what parliamentary procedures can be used to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and in July backed proposals to make it harder for Mr Johnson to do that.

Mr Johnson replaced Theresa May on July 24 after she failed three times to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament.

But he has refused to rule out proroguing the House of Commons and Brexit supporters have vociferously encouraged him to do so if necessary to ensure an exit on Octover 31.