Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson faces court over Brexit claims

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By Luke Hurst  with Reuters
Boris Johnson leaves his home in London
Boris Johnson leaves his home in London   -   Copyright  REUTERS

Former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been ordered to attend court to answer accusations that he lied to the public in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016.

A key figure in the Leave campaign, Johnson was ordered by District Judge Margot Coleman to attend a preliminary hearing following a crowd-funded private prosecution against him.

Boris Johnson is one of the favourites to replace Theresa May as prime minister after she announced she would resign following her failure to secure support in Parliament for her Withdrawal Agreement which would take the UK out of the EU.

In a written ruling at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the judge said: "Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted."

"This means the proposed defendant will be required to attend this court for a preliminary hearing, and the case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial."

Johnson's spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

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