Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie has told MPs he believes the EU referendum result could have been different “had there been no cheating”.
Giving evidence to Parliament’s digital, culture, media and sport committee, the former company employee said it was “completely reasonable” to conclude the Remain campaign could have won the 2016 vote.
It follows calls for the Electoral Commission to investigate the possibility of a conspiracy involving two senior members of the Leave campaign now working as advisers to Theresa May.
A legal opinion obtained by Bindmans solicitors, made public on Monday, called for an “urgent investigation” to establish whether a prosecution could be brought over allegations the campaign broke spending limits.
Witness statements and documents provided by Wylie and fellow whistleblower Shahmir Sanni “strongly suggest” that a donation of almost £680,000 made by the campaign to a youth Brexit group called BeLeave was actually used for the benefit of Vote Leave.
The legal opinion, prepared by barristers from Matrix Chambers, said the money was used to pay data firm Aggregate IQ - tied to Cambridge Analytica - for targeted messaging services.
Wylie told MPs: “Dom Cummings [the Vote Leave director] himself said they could not have won without Aggregate IQ. They spent 40% of their budget on AIQ...they are incredibly effective.
“I think it is completely reasonable to say there could have been a different outcome in the referendum had there not been, in my view, cheating.”
He added: “When you are caught in the Olympics doping, there is not a debate on how much illegal drug you took.
“If you are caught cheating, you lose your medal. Because if we allow cheating in our democratic process, and we allow this amount then what about next time, and what about the time after that?
“This is a breach of the law. This is cheating, and the thing that’s really important to understand is that this is not some council race or a by-election.
“This is an irreversible change to the constitution of this country.
“You should not win by cheating.”
Wylie - a self-described Eurosceptic - said he believed Vote Leave used AIQ as “a proxy money-laundering vehicle”.
He added it was was “categorically untrue” that Cambridge Analytica did not use data harvested from Facebook and that suspended CEO Alexander Nix had misled the committee when he appeared in front of it last month.
“His comments were exceptionally misleading and dishonest,” he said.
Wylie also revealed shocking claims that his predecessor at the company - who was found dead in a hotel room in Kenya - had been poisoned and that police had been bribed not to enter the room for 24 hours.
“It is pure speculation - I am not stating this as a matter of fact,” he told the committee.
He said the firm and its associated companies “did not care” whether its work was legal “as long as it got the job done”.
“I decided to speak out, because as a citizen one has a duty to report unlawful activity,” he added.
The DCMS committee, chaired by Conservative MP Damian Collins, has recalled Nix to give evidence again, warning him “giving false evidence to a select committee is a very serious matter.”