How Gina Miller is exploiting a legal loophole that allows foreign cash to support anti-Brexit candidates

How Gina Miller is exploiting a legal loophole that allows foreign cash to support anti-Brexit candidates

Gina Miller – the millionaire businesswoman who took the Government to court over the triggering of Article 50 – launched a crowdfunding website on Wednesday to raise cash for her efforts to “support candidates who campaign for a real final vote on Brexit”. But BrexitCentral can reveal her exploitation of a legal loophole that allows her campaign’s financial backers to maintain anonymity – meaning foreign nationals without a direct connection to the UK or the right otherwise to participate in British elections can donate.

The anti-Brexit campaign Best for Britain has so far raised over £330,000 with the help of more than 11,000 backers – a large number of whom are anonymous – whilst claiming the money will make the Brexit process “transparent, honest and democratic.”

However, the gofundme crowdfunding page established by Miller – who went head-to-head with BrexitCentral’s Editor, Jonathan Isaby, on Wednesday’s Channel Four News – insists that “for electoral reasons, we need to cap individual donations at £499”, thanking backers for their “support and understanding of this policy”.

Advice from the Electoral Commission states that money donated via a crowdfunding webpage to a non-party campaign amounting to less than £500 “is not a donation” and does not need to be reported.

This means that anybody who donates under £500 to her campaign can remain anonymous to the public, does not need to be registered to vote in the UK or even be a British citizen. Numerous nameless donors to the campaign have given £499, keeping their personal details or whereabouts out of the public gaze.

However, one backer who chose to waive her anonymity, for example, was Anna Feritti, an Italian woman who contributed £100. She writes:

This initiative deserves praise and support. Uk is a country I love, As an Italian and European I am proud to contribute”. 

This raises questions as to the provenance of the considerable amounts that have been donated anonymously.

While there is no suggestion that Miller and her campaign have broken the law, she surely risks opening herself up to the accusation of breaking the spirit of the rules which seek to prohibit foreign donations to British election candidates.