With exactly two weeks until the European elections, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar, has asked the Electoral Commission what preventative measures it is taking to prevent future elections “being subverted undemocratically.”
“Our democratic process – and the very pillars of our country – are being undermined, and people are losing faith in their public institutions”, the MEP writes.
The letter points to the Electoral Commission’s own findings that Vote Leave broke legal limits on campaign spending, breaching their £7 million spending limit.
It highlights later findings that the undeclared money was spent on a company (Cambridge Analytica) that used illegally harvested data from social media users to target misinformation at voters on Facebook. Vote Leave’s campaign manager Dominic Cummings later declared that this was crucial to the success of the Brexit campaign.
Molly Scott Cato has been instrumental in exposing Vote Leave’s illegal campaign activity and demanding justice following the revelations. In October 2018 she co-ordinated a cross-party letter signed by 78 MPs, MEPs and peers to law enforcement agencies seeking reassurances that they are pursuing criminal investigations into Vote Leave.
In her letter Scott Cato adds:
“In light of this, we ask you on behalf of the public, what will the electoral commission be doing to prevent such abuses of democratic process in the run up to the European elections and in the event of a second referendum?
“Any election undertaken now will be at risk of being subverted undemocratically and therefore working against, rather than for, the very people it is meant to represent.
“We need urgent reassurance of preventative measures being taken to prevent this from happening again.”
In February, Dr Scott Cato launched a report, Facing Down Facebook, which investigates Facebook’s impact on democracy and elections and suggests key policy recommendations to regulate the social media giant.
The full letter to Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, can be found here: Letter to electoral commission 26.04.19
Green Party South West European election press officer
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