The Information Commission this week completed its long-running and comprehensive three-year investigation into reports that Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections Ltd swung the results of the 2016 Brexit Referendum. The report makes tough reading for all those who peddled this conspiracy theory and those who pushed it so energetically in the media to explain and excuse how their side lost the EU referendum as well as who ultimately sought to undermine the democratic vote, exactly what they were accusing others of doing.

The investigation had access to 42 computers, 31 servers, 700 TB of data holding over 300,000 documents plus other material held in paper form, or from the Cloud.

The Office of the Information Commissioner concluded that there was no evidence that Cambridge Analytica or SCL were involved in the EU Referendum campaign in the UK and also confirmed that they failed to identify any significant breaches of privacy, electronic marketing regulations, and data protection legislation that met the threshold for formal regulatory action.

With regard to Russian involvement, the Commissioner was equally unequivocal stating that “We did not find any additional evidence of Russian involvement in our analysis material.”

It will be interesting to see if the BBC and others who repeated the conspiracy theorists’ (or sore losers’) claims so enthusiastically will now report with matching vigor their debunking.

With the advent of social media and the internet, it has never been truer that ”a lie can be half-way round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

The truth, however hard for the “Remainer elite” to come to terms with, is that a majority of the UK electorate wanted to leave the European Union. Given the chance, they simply voted for it. That’s democracy in action.

In a highly interconnected world, it is clear that the United States does not have a monopoly on Fake News. The problem is that, with the Presidential Election in November, the public does not have three years to come to the conclusion of who is spouting it.

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Andrew Bridgen

Andrew Bridgen is a Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire.

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