ACCUSATIONS continue to fly as the European Union referendum draws closer.
With less than a month to go, Vote Leave has accused Ryanair low-cost airline of breaking electoral law and urged the Electoral Commission to investigate the case.
Although the Commission requires anyone intending to spend more than £10,000 campaigning in the referendum to registers, the airline has promised to spend much more, €25,000, and is reportedly offering discounted flights to overseas voters wishing to travel to the UK to vote to stay within the EU on June 23.
Ryanair also printed slogans on one of its aircraft, which Chancellor George Osborne, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable stood in front of during speeches supporting remaining part of the EU at the airline’s base as Stansted airport, but it has not registered with the Electoral Commission.
However it appears the airline may not have to follow the spending regulations laid down by the Commission as the company is registered in Ireland.
“We have received a complaint from Vote Leave regarding the campaigning activity of Ryanair at the EU referendum and are establishing the facts before determining what, if any, steps to take,” an Electoral Commission spokesman confirmed.
The airline responded to the accusation, with a spokesman telling BBC Radio 4: “The Leave campaign must be getting really desperate if they’re now objecting to low-fare travel for British citizens. We will continue to help deliver a resounding Remain majority on June 23, and ensure the Leave loonies don’t ban low-fare air travel too!”
This is not the first time Vote Leave has complained about the airline’s support of the Remain campaign. In fact, earlier this month it reported Ryanair to the Metropolitan Police claiming the airline’s offer of discounted flights home to Remain voters was bribery.