Iain Duncan Smith wants to know why he hasn't been taken to court like Boris

PUBLISHED: 14:48 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 30 May 2019

Iain Duncan Smith. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Iain Duncan Smith. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Iain Duncan Smith is wondering why he isn't included in the flurry of legal activity around Boris Johnson, saying: "What about me?"

Private prosecutor Marcus J Ball. Photograph: Supplied.Private prosecutor Marcus J Ball. Photograph: Supplied.

Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson will face court in a private prosecution brought by campaigner Marcus Ball, who says that the politician deliberately misled the public with a now-infamous Leave campaign slogan.

READ: Boris Johnson to receive court summons over £350 million Brexit campaign claim

Iain Duncan Smith, speaking on Talk Radio, defended the slogan on the side of a bus that read: "We send the EU £350 million a week. Let's fund our NHS instead."

He said that the figure was broadly accurate, and that it was "quite legitimate" to quote the UK's gross contribution, and not the net contribution, which is roughly half.

He also said that it was "quite bizarre" that the case was taking on Boris Johnson alone.

"Michael Gove is serving in cabinet, what about him? What about me?

"I was on that team and I was very happy with that figure and I debated it endlessly ... I still believe in it.

"This is all about the leadership election as well," he said, saying that Remainers "fear Boris Johnson anywhere near leadership".

But Marcus Ball, talking to the New European when he first launched the case in 2018, had said it was "not a vendetta".

"My intention was to prosecute a lot more people than just Boris," said Ball.

"But as we went on the case narrowed and we came to the conclusion that this was the best course of action."

READ: Boris Johnson faces court over £350m claim

Iain Duncan Smith called the case "ludicrous" in practical terms. "It's also bizarre in the sense of bringing the courts into what is essentially a debating point."

He said the case was simply "district judges grandstanding", adding that "very junior judges" sometimes like to do this.

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