In a 4-dimensional-chess move no one saw coming, the People’s Vote campaign have written to the Electoral Commission asking that they be investigated over apparent dodgy donations.
A statement released to the press reads:
“The People’s Vote is asking the Electoral Commission to look into possible non-disclosure of donations under the organisation’s previous executive management.
The new interim management team, in place since beginning of November, has been conducting a fundamental review of the organisation’s systems, policies and processes.
In the course of this review we became extremely concerned donations may not have been declared to the Electoral Commission. We immediately made the Commission aware of this.”
Guido understands we are looking at six-figure donations undisclosed. The new People’s Vote regime under new campaign director Stuart Hand is upbeat, saying some 30 staff are toiling in Millbank Tower, that they have had £700,000 in donations since the election was called, at least a £100,000 of which has been funnelled to preferred candidates. That’s a lot of LibDem leaflets…
Former campaign director Patrick Heneghan is still “on a leave of absence” pending investigation of his alleged drunken cocaine and chill offers to young female staffers. As you do…
Where all this leaves former People’s Vote campaign chiefs James McGrory and Tom Baldwin is anyone’s guess. The Electoral Commission report will be interesting…
Roland Rudd invited People’s Vote staffers to a meeting with him in the Hilton next door to the Millbank Tower campaign HQ. Two heavies with a clipboard were guarding the corridor to the meeting room. The heavies refused entry to campaign veteran Shocking scenes…and despite trying to blag his way in got the “your name’s not on the list, you can’t come in” treatment.
UPDATE: According to reports, after a lively meeting with Roland Rudd this morning People’s Vote staffers voted to no confidence him and their new chief executive, Patrick Heneghan. A source in the room claims only 3 staff members (including Heneghan) supported the new Rudd regime.
Guido hears that Roland Rudd and Patrick Heneghan are currently boycotting their own People’s Vote meeting – called for 9 a.m. this morning – because Baldwin and McGrory are present and he refuses to address them.
The People’s Vote campaign staff are currently waiting for him to stop having a tantrum and address the meeting he called. Who could have anticipated the People’s Vote were capable of such incompetence…
UPDATE: Looks like the staff are turning against Rudd…
— Charlie Atkins (@kinsCharlie) October 28, 2019
UPDATE II: Rudd in classic coup behaviour, now broadcasting propaganda from a TV station – Sky…
UPDATE III: Tom Baldwin launches into a succession of snide comments against Rudd, claiming there was a “boardroom coup”… but denying there is any chaos.
One unexpectedly joyous by-product of the change of policy by the LibDems, to ignoring the referendum result totally, is that over at the People’s Vote campaign Tom Baldwin wants to purge LibDem MPs. James McGrory, the former LibDem SpAd for Clegg, is trying to keep them on board. Anna Soubry is saying they must be purged. So much for plurality and a new kind of centrist politics. Chaos….
UPDATE: Anna Soubry, a founder member of the People’s Vote, has sent an email attacking the LibDems new position, she argues:
Simply to revoke Article 50 without a further referendum, as my Lib Dem colleagues believe and have adopted as their policy, is simply wrong.
Dressing up the policy in clever semantics about hypothetical and fanciful situations are lost on an electorate tired of politicians playing politics and not being honest with them.
The Lib Dem policy of ‘revoke without a referendum’ stokes fears that they have not learnt from the mistake of tuition fees; that they will again say one thing to win a vote but when in power will do something very different.
The British people need honesty and clarity. And we are clear – we need a People’s Vote – with a responsible “deal” versus Remain on the ballot paper. If voters chose to Leave then at least they will have given their informed consent to Brexit.
Tom Balwin has tweeted that our story is bollocks. Am assured that the question of the LibDem’s status with the campaign is being actively discussed in the office. Perhaps Tom should take the time to explain to campaign staff what the position is with regard to Chuka for example…
After losing the referendum, changing their name to Open Britain and failing to keep us inside the single market and customs union (well, so far…), beleaguered Britain Stronger in Europe have re-branded once again, this time in support of second referendum. In the press release launching Open Britain they stated: “The referendum decided that the UK would leave the European Union”. They will be merging their social media clout (570,000 Facebook likes) with the ailing People’s Vote campaign (which has a mere 10,000).
Despite the UK being on course for a very soft Brexit, with Philip Hammond and Greg Clark remaining in the Cabinet and the Brexiteers quitting in protest, Theresa May’s capitulation to the Remainers only has only encouraged them to push for more. Remember when Soubry and Wollaston backed Chequers, before deciding days later that actually they wanted more concessions? Open Britain used to say they respected the result of the referendum. Now they want a second referendum. It could all have been different if May had challenged the Remainers rather than surrendered to them, and actually backed Brexit properly…
In his car crash interview with Andrew Neil yesterday, Continuity Remain campaigner James McGrory said:
“It’s clear there is no mandate to leave the single market. The idea that the Leave campaign spoke with unanimity and with clarity and purpose… and said we will definitely leave the single market is just not true.”
Guido has found a press release sent by Stronger In on 11th May this year. In it, one James McGrory explicitly says that Boris and Vote Leave “plan to pull Britain out of the Single Market”.
There it is in black and white: a Stronger In press release written by McGrory himself admitting Vote Leave openly said Brexit meant leaving the single market. All the clarity and purpose you could ever want. Let this be the last time Continuity Remainers get away with telling this demonstrable untruth.