Brexit Insider Says Referendum Wasn't "Legitimate"

Brexit Insider Says Referendum Wasn't "Legitimate"

An individual who volunteered for a Brexit campaign effort said the organization broke the law, and in turn, is arguing the referendum vote "wasn't legitimate," according to the United Kingdom's Channel 4 News.

The insider, Shahmir Sanni, told Channel 4 that the organization "Vote Leave" coordinated spending over the legal limit, using a Canadian data firm called Aggregate IQ, otherwise known as AIQ. British election law enforces a spending cap on donations that includes when groups coordinate donations.

"I know that Vote Leave cheated, that people had been lied to and that the referendum wasn't legitimate," Sanni said in an interview with the broadcaster.

Separately, in an interview with The Observer, Sanni claims a donation of £625,000 by Vote Leave to another Brexit group, "BeLeave," was funneled to AIQ.

In a tweet Saturday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the stories by Channel 4 and The Observer, "utterly ludicrous, #VoteLeave won fair and square – and legally."

Earlier, Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May's political secretary and previously a senior figure in the Vote Leave campaign, refuted Sanni's allegations, saying the Electoral Commission investigated the matter, and twice found no evidence of wrongdoing. "I have seen the statements issued by Shahmir and his lawyers, and am saddened by them. They are factually incorrect and misleading," he said to Channel 4.

An attorney for Vote Leave also told Channel 4 that the campaign had "twice been cleared on this matter by the Electoral Commission," but acknowledged the network's report presented new allegations and said it would investigate.

Channel 4 says it has seen documents that it claims show multiple ties between AIQ and Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL. Cambridge Analytica has been at the center of a controversy about data breach allegations.