Boris Johnson Seeks to Challenge Criminal Case Against Him

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson, the Conservative party leadership favorite, sought to suspend the potential criminal charges against him, saying that they were unlawful.

Johnson, who was last month ordered to attend court to face allegations of misconduct in public office, wants the proceedings suspended while he challenges the decision in a higher court, Marcus Ball, who brought the case, said on Twitter. Johnson has sought permission for a judicial review, Ball said.

Boris Johnson Seeks to Challenge Criminal Case Against Him

Johnson’s leadership ambitions were dealt an embarrassing setback when District Judge Margot Coleman allowed the unprecedented private prosecution to proceed. The politician will be required to answer accusations that he made false claims about British spending on the European Union, she said.

Campaigner Marcus Ball is trying to bring charges against the lawmaker over his "infamous" claim that the U.K. sent 350 million pounds ($442 million) per week to the EU -- one of the central tenets of the 2016 Brexit campaign. Ball’s legal team said last week that Johnson had acted in a "irresponsible and dishonest" manner and engaged in criminal behavior.

Johnson’s lawyer Adrian Darbishire said at an earlier hearing that it is "absolutely denied that he acted in an improper or dishonest manner at any time."

Ball disclosed the latest legal maneuver in the case as part of an appeal to help fund the case against Johnson.

A call to Johnson’s lawyers wasn’t immediately returned before office hours.

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