After BBC Radio Manchester reported they’d learnt May’s elections are likely to be postponed again over Covid safety concerns, Guido was immediately suspicious, given his read of the lockdown rules spotted specific government provisions allowing elections to go ahead.
It now seems someone has got their wires twisted as the government has now confirmed elections will go ahead in May as planned, with both the Department for Local Government and CCHQ reassuring candidates. A Cabinet Office spokesperson says:
“Legislation provides that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.
“We continue to work closely with the electoral community and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely – and in a way of their choosing
“Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice. Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review.”
Thankfully, Londoners won’t have yet another year of unaccountable leadership from Sadiq Khan…
The latest front for the Remain campaign is presenting itself as a campaign for “Less power in the hands of the ruling elite and more in the hands of the people”. Guido can confirm, however, that the man behind the curtain is the personification of the elite in Britain – Roland Rudd. When Rudd isn’t lounging in his opulent multi-million pound mansion, he’s lucratively lobbying for bankers and big businesses…
Whispers around Westminster point to Democracy Unleashed becoming a campaign for proportional representation aimed at forcing the Labour Party to commit to this in the 2024 election – despite the organisation not mentioning PR at all in its petitions or social media. A source close to the People’s Vote campaign tells Guido this new campaign is being staffed by the few people “weak enough and untalented enough to capitulate to Roland Rudd for a pay cheque whilst watching their colleagues be literally locked out of their offices and worse.” All is not happy in former Remaintopia..
Sadly, Rudd’s anti-elite, pro-transparency campaign is not transparent at all about its governance structure. Rudd, Reed, and Sidhu-Robb are listed as the only directors of both Open Britain and PV Campaign Ltd, yet the websites of Democracy Unleashed and Open Britain mention no names and include no contact details, beyond an email to opt-out of messages. Consequently Guido has some questions to publicly ask the new campaign…
- Who chairs the new initiative? What is Rudd’s role?
- What role do PV Campaign Ltd play in the governance of Democracy Unleashed and who currently sits on their board?
- Who are “the elite” referred to in their mission statement? Do they include millionaires like Rudd, Geeta Sidhu-Robb, Richard Reed and Hugo Dixon?
- What efforts did you make to consult the 500,000 people on the Open Britain database about the change in direction?
- What have you done with the hundreds of thousands of pounds raised from grassroots donors that was left in the Open Britain bank account when Rudd launched his coup?
Guido looks forward to receiving answers…
This morning another email comes from the database of Rudd’s Remainers which you may remember split acrimoniously into different factions in its pre-election People’s Vote incarnation for reasons none of us can quite remember. Tom Baldwin and James McCrory were kicked out and it all sort of fizzled out.
Now it seems yet again to be rebranding as Democracy Unleashed, using a database that has been illegally re-purposed – something that the LibDems got heavily fined for doing. Obviously to avoid that they sent their email this morning signed by the CEO of Open Britain, an older incarnation under the Democracy Unleashed branding. It is a basic tenet of EU GDPR law that data gathered for one purpose can not be used for another without permission. Permission they have neither sought nor been given…
The People’s Vote campaign is back from the dead, following its complete collapse in November last year. It is now going by the name of ‘Democracy Unleashed’. The People’s Vote campaign was itself a rebranding of Open Britain, which in turn was a rebranding of the official Remain campaign. The same organisation holding the same valuable data changing its clothes yet again. Guido has compiled a timeline…
- 12 October 2015 – Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE) campaign founded.
- 15 April 2016 – BSE receives designation. Official campaign begins.
- 23 June 2016 – BSE loses the EU Referendum by 1,269,501 votes.
- 25 August 2016 – BSE changes name to Open Britain.
- 26 July 2018 – Open Britain changes name to People’s Vote.
- 23 May 2019 – Parties endorsing a ‘People’s Vote’ lose EU Parliamentary elections.
- 9 July 2019 – Labour changes Brexit position to back a ‘People’s Vote’.
- November 2019 – People’s Vote campaign collapses.
- 13 December 2019 – People’s Vote campaign shuts down.
- 17 June 2020 – People’s Vote campaign changes name to ‘Democracy Unleashed’.
Last week, Sheridan Parker resigned as the sole Director of People’s Vote Limited, and was replaced by Christopher Clayton. A very powerful dataset looks to be gearing back up again in British politics. Personally, Guido prefers Comedy Unleashed…