A campaigner trying to bring a private prosecution against the prime minister over his controversial EU referendum bus claim has lost a bid to take his fight to the Supreme Court.

Marcus Ball launched legal action after the slogan – “We send the EU £350m a week, let’s fund our NHS instead” – appeared on the side of a bus in the run up to the 2016 vote.

Mr Ball accused Boris Johnson of knowing it was a “false and misleading figure”.

Marcus Ball brought the action over Boris Johnson's EU bus claim in 2016
Marcus Ball brought the action over Boris Johnson’s EU bus claim in 2016

In May, a decision was made to issue a summons for Mr Johnson to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court to face three allegations of misconduct in public office.

But it was ruled “unlawful” and quashed by High Court judges at a hearing the following month.


In July, Mr Ball’s legal team filed an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court over the ruling.

But on Wednesday, it was thrown out by Lady Justice Rafferty, one of the High Court judges who quashed the original decision.

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Mr Ball now has the option to apply directly to the Supreme Court for permission – and speaking outside court following the ruling, he said: “This isn’t over, we are not giving up.

“We are pursuing it, absolutely.”