POLITICS
28/03/2018 10:17 BST | Updated 28/03/2018 10:18 BST

Michael Gove Denies Knowing About £625,000 Vote Leave Donation

Environment secretary was co-chair of Brexit campaign group.

PA Wire/PA Images

Michael Gove has denied knowing about an alleged breach of campaign spending rules by Vote Leave ahead of the EU referendum.

Vote Leave made a £625,000 donation to the youth orientated BeLeave campaign group.

It has been alleged the payment was used to get around strict £7m spending limits set by the Electoral Commission.

The accusation has been dismissed by leading Vote Leave figures. Boris Johnson said it was “ludicrous” and no rules were broken.

TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images
Shahmir Sanni (L), a volunteer for Vote Leave, and Christopher Wylie, who worked with Cambridge Analytica, have alleged the Brexit campaign may have broken electoral law.

Gove, who was the co-chair of  Vote Leave, said this morning he did not know about the donation until “after the campaign concluded”.

“I wasn’t involved in the day to day running of the campaign, I was out there making the case for leaving the EU rather than managing the hidden wiring of the campaign,” the environment secretary told Sky News.

“But I think this case has been investigated twice by the Electoral Commission since it occurred and I think on both those occasions the Electoral Commission said it’s quite right that one campaign can donate to another organisation, and indeed my understanding is that the Remain campaign did pretty much the same thing.”

It comes after Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie told MPs he believes the 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.