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This week’s front page editor

Thomas Rowley

Thomas Rowley is editor of oDR.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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Who pays for our democracy?

Theresa May's allies, the Democratic Unionist Party, took £435,000 to campaign for Brexit and refuse to reveal who gave them the cash. Arron Banks, a key backer of the Leave campaign, appears to be not as rich as he claims – leaving questions about where all his Brexit campaign cash come from.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of pounds are funnelled to political parties through loopholes which allow donor anonymity. Who is bankrolling our politics? We want to find out the whole story.


Revealed: How dark money is winning ‘the Brexit influencing game’

As Tory MPs resign in protest at the malign influence of hardline Brexiters, documents show the “unfettered” access to ministers and senior politicians enjoyed by secretive think tanks such as the IEA that are “marching the country” to a no-deal Brexit.

Commons report on “fake news” says failing electoral laws are putting UK democracy at risk

Report from MPs builds on openDemocracy’s work exposing unaccountable ‘dark money’ and influence on our elections

 

Revealed: The dark-money Brexit ads flooding social media

Facebook has new transparency rules on political ads. But in the last week pro-Brexit groups have spent tens of thousands pushing ‘no deal’ – without having to explain who pays for them.

Stop calling ‘no-deal’ Brexiteers idiots. They know exactly what they’re doing

This is not bungling, or delusion. It’s part of the Great British Asset striptease. And we need to know who’s bankrolling it.

‘They were planning on stealing the election’: Explosive new tapes reveal Cambridge Analytica CEO’s boasts of voter suppression, manipulation and bribery

Previously unknown recording reveals extraordinary ‘black ops’ on three continents – exploiting weaknesses in democracies left wide open by governments and Silicon Valley.

The ruling class that drove Brexit

The media loves to blame far right movements and moments on the working class. Our Brexit research tells a very different story.

Beyond the Brexit pantomime

Forget the political melodrama. What matters most are the deep weaknesses in our democracy that Brexit has exposed – and which extend across Europe.

Revealed: the dirty secrets of the DUP’s ‘dark money’ Brexit donor

MPs call on Richard Cook to “emerge from the shadows” after we uncover his trail of illegal waste, unpaid bills and court documents stretching from India to California.

Fresh concerns raised over DUP’s secret Brexit donation

Caroline Lucas MP calls on UK watchdog to ‘re-open investigation’, after new evidence suggests ‘deeply irresponsible’ initial inquiry

Revealed: Arron Banks Brexit campaign's 'secret' meetings with Cambridge Analytica

Leaked emails show Leave.EU misled parliament and UK regulator about meetings with controversial Trump-linked firm – where they discussed targeting British voters. Steve Bannon was included in correspondence.

Dark money investigations: what we’ve found out, and why we’re looking

For the past two years openDemocracy has been tracking down the secretive, wealthy donors trying to influence British politics unseen.

Right-wing think tank accused of promoting tobacco and oil industry “propaganda” in schools

The Institute of Economic Affairs’ magazine distributed to tens of thousands of British schoolchildren promotes tobacco tax cuts, climate change denial, tax havens, and privatising the NHS – but doesn’t say where its money comes from

Theresa May accused of "major cover-up" over Brexit donor Arron Banks

Home Office refuses openDemocracy’s request for information about investigation into Banks – saying this “would impede the future formulation of government policy”.

Brexit bankroller Arron Banks, Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon – explosive emails reveal fresh links

Brexit donor asked controversial Trump-linked data firm to 'come up with strategy' for fundraising in the US – and gave them access to personal information about British voters, according to new leaked emails

Revealed: How Arron Banks’s campaign ‘ambassador’ made his millions in Russia

Jim Mellon introduced Brexit ‘bad boys’ Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, and was a Leave.EU ambassador. He claims he hasn’t been involved in Russia since the 1990s. But our investigation shows he still has major financial exposure to Russian investments.

Revealed: Arron Banks’s staff crunched millions of voters’ data after Brexit vote

Whistleblower says Banks’s staff were told to ‘urgently’ process personal information on millions of voters after the referendum – and still had it months later. Why?

Whistleblowers say Arron Banks ‘misled’ viewers on BBC Andrew Marr show

Brexit funder said staff working for his controversial Leave campaign were put on different contracts, and declared to elections watchdog. But evidence seen by openDemocracy tells a very different story.

Arron Banks lied to parliament about his Brexit campaign, say whistleblowers

Major Brexit bankroller, now under investigation by the National Crime Agency, “deliberately misled” parliament about his insurance company’s political work, and amassed campaign data ‘warchest’

Revealed: Met Police ignored Brexit campaign evidence for months

Scotland Yard claimed it didn’t receive key evidence about Leave campaigns until September. But the evidence was ready from May. They just didn’t bother to collect it.

Police still not investigating Leave campaigns, citing ‘political sensitivities’

Exclusive: Months after Scotland Yard received ‘substantial’ evidence of potential criminality by pro-Leave groups, nothing has happened. Is the police probe destined for the political long-grass?

Our governments share responsibility for the Cambridge Analytica crisis… and here’s how they should fix it

Government must regulate before privatised military propaganda firms interfere with any more elections

How the Electoral Commission turned blind eye to DUP's shady Brexit cash

Emails reveal elections regulator was ‘concerned’ by revelations about mysterious £435,000 donation – but closed the case quickly without investigation.

The High Court case which could reveal the DUP's secret Brexit donors

The Good Law Project is taking the Electoral Commission to court to find out who was behind a huge donation that paid for Leave campaigning.

Major Scottish Tory funders fined over illegal donation

The Irvine Unionist Club donation funded 10% of Ruth Davidson’s campaign spending in 2016

‘Second’ bank account: MPs demand probe into Rees-Mogg’s Brexit group

Cross-party demands for an urgent investigation into the financial affairs of the European Research Group follow openDemocracy’s investigation.

The High Court found that Vote Leave broke the law in a new way

England & Wales's High Court has ruled that Vote Leave broke campaign spending limits in addition to the way that the Electoral Commission previously said they did.

Parliament watchdog probes Rees-Mogg’s hard Brexit lobby group over “other sources of funding”

EXCLUSIVE: Emails released by UK parliamentary standards watchdog reveal a ‘second’ bank account held by the powerful ERG group of Tory MPs, as they pressure May to abandon Chequers.

Opposition MPs call on PM to investigate former minister over hidden links to Tory ultra-Brexiteers

After openDemocracy revealed how former Brexit minister Steve Baker continued to work with the secretive European Research Group despite being in government, demands for Downing Street to investigate.

Truly Project Hate: the third scandal of the official Vote Leave campaign headed by Boris Johnson

Look at the Vote Leave Facebook adverts alongside their more public propaganda, and you see quite how much it promoted racist ideas.

Ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker remained in charge of secretive Tory ultra faction

Under the ministerial code, Baker was supposed to cut his ties with the European Research Group when he joined the government in 2017. But newly released emails show that as Brexit minister, he offered them private briefings on critical government policy.

Revealed: how the UK’s powerful right-wing think tanks and Conservative MPs work together

The Institute of Economic Affairs, accused of offering US donors access to government ministers, is among right-wing think tanks meeting monthly. Conservative MPs have attended, too.

The DUP’s Facebook ads for Brexit targeted voters outside Northern Ireland

Information released by Facebook shows the DUP said Brexit would be “better for our borders”.

The laws protecting Britain's democracy from big money are broken

You can be fined more for touting football tickets than you can for subverting Britain's democratic process.

Trump's visit marks the start of shock doctrine Brexit

The radical right want a no-deal Brexit so they can force Britain into a disaster capitalist trade deal with the USA.

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