Remain Campaign’s Shameless Sob Story

The Remain Campaign’s Director of Communications Tom Baldwin has written a real sob story for the Spectator in response to an article which pointed out a major error their recent report attacking the ‘Norway Plus’ option. Baldwin goes full holier-than-thou as he insists:

“We are determined to be an evidence-based campaign and will continue to contest claims for forms of Brexit that are clearly untrue…

“Everyone should owe it to the public to engage in that debate in a way that upholds the very highest standards of rigour and truthfulness.”

This is coming from a campaign that:

  • Claimed for months that it was only interested in securing a “soft Brexit”, not stopping Brexit altogether.
  • Campaigned heavily for the UK to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union – only to now launch a full-frontal attack on that ‘Norway Plus’ option.
  • Was humiliated on national television for a flagrantly misleading video purporting to show Leave campaigners arguing in favour of the single market.
  • Said it was closing down but kept its entire email database in a questionable interpretation of data protection laws.
  • Are largely the same people who ran the Remain campaign with its vast array of discredited scare stories about the effects of voting to Leave.
  • Complained about Vote Leave “micro-targeting” on Facebook but has sent almost as many micro-targeted ads on Facebook in the last two and a half months as Vote Leave did in the entire campaign.
  • Are still under investigation by the Information Commissioner about data irregularities involving the Lib Dems.
  • Claims to be about giving ordinary people a say but is in fact a vast, well-funded corporate lobbying operation with dozens of full-time staff whose only goal is stopping Brexit, not boosting democracy.

The “People’s Vote” campaign have no interest in what people have or haven’t voted for, they simply want to stop Brexit by whatever means that are available to them, desperate for a second chance to atone for losing a campaign that was massively stacked in their favour in the first place. They are free to campaign for what they like but trying to take the moral high ground like this really is shameless…

People’s Vote Under ICO Investigation

Guido can shed more light on the Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into the use of data by campaigns during the EU referendum.

The report reveals that the ICO is “still looking” into breaches of data by BSE that may require further action. After the referendum, BSE became Open Britain, and this summer re-branded again as the ironically named People’s Vote campaign. All while the investigation was ongoing…

The campaign’s re-branding leads to priceless tweets, but it doesn’t get them out of the serious ICO investigation.

The People’s Vote campaign is still under investigation by the ICO for potential serious breaches of data privacy.

“‘During the course of our investigation, we obtained information that the Liberal Democrats had sold the personal data of its party members to BSiE for approximately £100,000.”

“In June and July 2018, we served information notices on Open Britain, the successor organisation to BSiE, and the Liberal Democrats, under the DPA1998, to investigate these issues.”

“We are still looking at how the Remain side of the referendum campaign handled personal data, including the electoral roll, and will be considering whether there are any breaches of data protection or electoral law requiring further action.”

The ICO has placed an enforcement notice against AIQ handling any UK data in the course of its investigation. Shouldn’t the ICO – in the same way – suspend the People’s Vote campaign from using any UK data while they investigate and determine the source of the data?

UPDATE: BSE responds: “This assertion is entirely untrue. Britain Stronger in Europe did not receive, or pay for, Liberal Democrat members’ personal data at any point.”

BSE Re-Brands… Again

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…

Chuka’s “Arrogant” Leadership Plan Infuriated Remain Rivals

The Telegraph front page splash is that George Soros is putting his money behind a new campaign blitz from Gina Miller’s Best for Britain with the aim of pressuring Tory MPs in particular. Last week The Guardian ran a story claiming the “main groups opposed to a hard Brexit are joining forces under the leadership of Chuka Umunna to push for the public’s voice to be heard on Theresa May’s final deal to leave the EU.” Rowena Mason breathlessly reported that some 500,000 members of the various groups “were putting aside their differences to work together as the grassroots coordinating group (GCG).” Chuka would lead a coalition of a “new generation of politicians, in contrast to the old remain campaign associated with establishment figures such as David Cameron, John Major, Tony Blair and Nick Clegg.” The optimistic over-briefing went down badly with rival groups and personalities. Very badly.

Who could be the source of this over-briefing? A clue is given in that the person quoted at length in the article is one Chuka Umunna. It is the cash-strapped Open Britain that he fronts which is pushing to unite the disparate groups. Behind the scenes can be detected the hand of his old mentor, Peter Mandelson, trying to manipulate egos and personalities. Guido’s source tells him that it is “arrogant of Chuka” to think he can unify and control their messaging. Arrogant? Chuka? Never! 

LibDems and Open Britain Fined For Referendum Spending Breaches

Remain campaigners have been fined by the Electoral Commission for breaking the rules on their spending returns:

The LibDems: failed to provide acceptable invoices or receipts for 80 payments with a total value of more than £80,000. They’ve been fined £18,000.

Open Britain: failed to deliver a complete and accurate spending return, including three missing invoices. They’ve been fined £1,250.

Guido will have more on Remain campaign referendum fraud in the coming weeks…

Open Britain Spinning About Trade Deals

Everyone knows Fox cannot sign trade deals until we leave the EU. Do Open Britain think the public are stupid?

Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report

There’s much woe in the Remain press today over a new report apparently forecasting a bleak future for Brexit Britain. The study by the Centre of Economic Business Research, produced for Open Britain, has been translated by the Independent as:

“Brexit: Lost access to single market in services could cost UK economy up to £36bn, new report concludes”

This might have something to do with Nick Clegg, who has been providing doom-mongering quotes all over the shop:

“This report exposes what is at risk if Theresa May fails to deliver on her promise to deliver a trade deal with the exact same benefits as membership of the Single Market… Lost access to the single market could cost the UK economy between £25 and £36bn a year.”

If you actually take time to read the report, you’ll see it makes it quite clear that the research is not a basis upon which to make forecasts about the impact of Brexit:

This research should also not be seen as an attempt to forecast Brexit impacts. Rather, the analysis discusses various economic scenarios, specifically relating to how the impacts of Brexit might be transmitted into the UK real economy. The value of the output is therefore analytical rather than being necessarily predictive.”

The report categorically says it is not “forecasting Brexit impacts“. It even says it in bold. Clegg spinning it up yet again…

Open Britain Falls Apart: Tory MPs Quit Group

This morning Guido reported that Tory MPs were under pressure to quit Open Britain over the group’s decision to target Tories in LibDem marginals. Well, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan have just resigned from the group:

“As long standing Conservative Party members and MPs it is untenable for us to play any further role in an organisation, such as Open Britain, which is advocating campaigning against Conservative MPs or candidates, and we will not be doing so.”

Dominic Grieve and Neil Carmichael have also quit the group. Really stupid strategic error from Open Britain, what on earth were they thinking?

UPDATE: Change Britain, the Brexit-backing rival to Open Britain, sensibly says it will sit out the election:

“Change Britain will be standing aside during the election period. We are a genuine cross-party campaign and therefore do not believe it is our place to encourage the public to vote for certain candidates during a general election. We will work with whoever gets elected after June 8th to ensure the referendum result is respected.”

Soubry and Morgan Under Pressure to Quit Open Britain

Open Britain, the zombie Remain campaign formerly known as BSE, has published a hit list of 20 MPs they are aiming to unseat in the name of fighting Brexit. You would have thought the 20 would all be Brexit backers. Nope, Open Britain are targeting Remain-voting Tory MPs Nicola Blackwood, James Berry, James Heappey and Luke Hall. It is no coincidence that all four of these MPs are in LibDem marginals. This is completely blatant from Open Britain, a supposed all party group which has exposed itself beyond all doubt as a LibDem front.

How can Open Britain’s Tory MPs stay in the group when they are so obviously campaigning against their Tory colleagues, even ones who voted Remain? Nicky Morgan has this morning clarified “To be clear I shall campaign for all Conservative MPs/PPCs to secure strong Conservative Govt”. Alistair Burt has joined her: “Tory Remain MPs support all Tory candidates regardless of last years vote”. As we go to pixel Anna Soubry hasn’t commented. This Open Britain hit list has gone down incredibly badly in Tory circles and the feeling is Tory MPs should no longer associate with the group. Seems a strategic error from Open Britain, the mask has slipped…

UPDATE: As Leave Means Leave’s Richard Tice puts it:

“I urge Alistair Burt, Dominic Grieve and Anna Soubry to clarify whether they are will be campaigning with the Conservative Party or with Open Britain, in which case they should resign and stand as an Open Britain candidate.”

Open Britain Wheels Out Blair to Patronise Voters

Open Britain, the zombie Remain campaign, is hosting a speech by Tony Blair today in which he will argue for Brexit to be reversed. The pre-briefed quotes go from mildly patronising – “The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit” – to full on contemptuous condescension: “Our challenge is to show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge which will now become informed knowledge, to calculate in easy to understand ways how proceeding will cause real damage”. Blair and Open Britain seriously still believe that Leave voters are stupid, ill-informed idiots whose minds can be changed if the case to Remain is explained “in easy to understand ways”. Hard to think how Blairite metropolitan elitists could be more patronising. They just don’t get it.

UPDATE: Richard Tice from Leave Means Leave makes a fair point:

“There is some irony that Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister who will forever be remembered for deceiving the British people, will try to resurrect his political corpse tomorrow by trying to deceive the British people once again.”

Press Release That Unmasks Remainers’ Post-Truth Tactics

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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.”

Oh James…

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.

Andrew Neil Debunks Viral Open Britain Video

This week the zombie Remain campaign group Open Britain released a video purporting to show prominent Leave campaigners backing staying in the single market. On the Sunday Politics Andrew Neil revealed that the quotes were edited to take them completely out of context. The Owen Paterson, Matthew Elliott and Nigel Farage quotes were deliberately clipped to distort entirely what they were saying. Brillo told Open Britain’s James McGrory: “You misrepresented them… How did you think you would get away with this?… Many people will conclude that you are the biggest liars”. The video was shared thousands and thousands of times by Remainers, post-fact politics at its most blatant…

UPDATE: Matthew Elliott and Michael Gove have called on Open Britain to withdraw their video and apologise.

Via @liarpoliticians

Through the Keyhole: Roland Rudd’s 8 Bedroom Country Pile

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Roland Rudd is the chairman of Open Britain, the zombie Remain campaign which is trying to obstruct Brexit. Could it be that the multi-millionaire lobbyist’s sheltered life has left him completely out of touch with the general population? Guido takes you through the keyhole to find out…

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Rudd lives in a Georgian eight bedroom country mansion in Somerset, which was valued at £5.5 million when he purchased it six years ago. Nestled in countryside to the south of the village of Cucklington, it is described by estate agents as a “Grade I Listed architectural gem, considered to be one of the most charming country houses in the area”. It dates back to the 17th century and boasts “beautiful facades, a tranquil setting amidst glorious countryside”, an extensive wine cellar and even a “staff flat” for the help. The Upstairs, Downstairs world of privileged Remainers…

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Guests to Roland’s pile will enter along “a carriage driveway to a grass turning circle with a fine central stone garden sculpture. This comprises a group of 4 cherubs carrying baskets of fruits, the whole topped with a full pineapple and leaves”. Not to mention the livestock buildings, game larder, gardener’s workshop and croquet lawn. Come on Roland, surely room for a few refugees too?

Open Britain’s Web of Offshore-Owned Offices

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A Guido investigation can reveal that all three addresses registered by Open Britain, the continuity Remain campaign, are owned offshore. Open Britain and its predecessor Stronger In have campaigned against tax havens – they claimed the Panama Papers were a reason why Britain should remain in the EU. Yet their registered office, St Bride’s House in Salisbury Square, is owned by Rreef St Bride’s Ltd, a company incorporated offshore in Jersey whose address is cited in the Panama Papers. “The EU helps Britain tackle tax avoidance in the wake of the Panama Papers,” Open Britain have said.

What about their HQ? Until the summer they were based at 16 Dowgate Hill, at an office previously used by Stronger In. It was declared by Will Straw to Companies House as his correspondence address. This building is also owned offshore in Jersey by a company called Karlton Ltd. They were grandstanding about tax havens from an office owned in a tax haven…

Recently Open Britain moved to a new office at Tenter House in Moorgate, which is the HQ of multi-millionaire tycoon Roland Rudd’s lobbying company Finsbury. You guessed it, Tenter House is also owned offshore – it is ultimately controlled by Linnet Ltd, “a company incorporated in the Isle of Man and controlled by trusts”. As they campaign in support of an EU crackdown on tax havens, all three offices registered by Open Britain are – by strange coincidence – owned offshore…

Open Britain Endorse LibDems in Witney

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Open Britain, the zombie campaign of ex-BSE Remoaners, claims to be non-partisan. Odd, then, that they’ve tweeted to their followers telling them to vote LibDem in the Witney by-election today. Do Open Britain’s vocal Tory backers Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan endorse this message? Surely former Clegg spinner turned Open Britain chief James McGrory didn’t accidentally tweet from the wrong account…

UPDATE: The tweet has now been deleted.

UPDATE II: Guido is told the tweet was not sent by McGrory, it was sent accidentally by a current LibDem press officer who has access to the account. He deleted it and then tweeted it from the LibDem press office account. Doesn’t exactly disabuse us of the notion that Open Britain is just a LibDem front…

UPDATE III: Open Britain are at pains to point out that their co-director Joe Carberry worked for Labour for ten years and that they also have Tories in their top team.

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