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Vote Leave
""Vote Leave, take control logo.svg
Formation 8 October 2015 (2015-10-08)
Extinction 10 September 2016 (2016-09-10)
Purpose "UK withdrawal from the EU in the "2016 referendum
Headquarters Westminster Tower
Location
  • United Kingdom
Region served
United Kingdom
Key people
"Gisela Stuart (Chairman)
"Matthew Elliott (CEO)
"Dominic Cummings
"Michael Gove MP
"Boris Johnson MP
"Kate Hoey MP
Affiliations "Business for Britain,
"Conservatives for Britain,
"Labour Leave,
"Students for Britain
Website voteleavearchive.com

Vote Leave was an organisation that successfully campaigned for a Leave vote in the "United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016.[1] On 13 April 2016, Vote Leave was designated by the "Electoral Commission as the official campaign in favour of leaving the European Union for the referendum on EU membership.[2]

Vote Leave was created in October 2015 by political strategists "Matthew Elliot and "Dominic Cummings as a cross-party campaign, including members of Parliament from "Conservatives, "Labour, and "UKIP. Labour MP "Gisela Stuart served as chairman and leader of the Vote Leave Campaign Committee as Co-Convenor with "Michael Gove MP.[3] The campaign was also supported by a number of prominent politicians, including "Boris Johnson who became a key figurehead for Vote Leave.

Vote Leave was funded by former Conservative treasurer "Peter Cruddas and Labour supporter "John Mills.[4] Vote Leave cooperated with "Labour Leave, "Conservatives for Britain and "Business for Britain throughout the referendum campaign.[5]

In the 2016 referendum, the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union won a 51.9% share of the vote, therefore setting into motion the steps to be taken for the United Kingdom's "withdrawal from the European Union. This meant that the Vote Leave campaign was the victorious side in this referendum.

During and after 23 June, both Vote Leave and its rival organisation, ""Britain Stronger In Europe", were excoriated by sections of the media and academia for a campaign described by the "Electoral Reform Society as "dire", which left the public seriously lacking proper information.

In September 2016, "Change Britain was formed to act as a successor organisation.

Contents

History[edit]

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"Boris Johnson MP was a key figurehead for the Vote Leave campaign

The Vote Leave campaign was launched on 8 October 2015 with support from MPs including Labour MP "Kate Hoey and UKIP MP "Douglas Carswell, and supporters from the business world including "CMC Markets founder "Peter Cruddas, entrepreneur "Luke Johnson and businessman "John Mills, the "Labour Party's biggest individual donor.[6][7][8] "Matthew Elliott, founder and former chief executive of the "TaxPayers' Alliance and "Big Brother Watch as well as the campaign director of the successful "NOtoAV campaign in 2011 was announced as the chief executive of Vote Leave.

On 2 November 2015, Vote Leave called on the "British Polling Council to investigate "serious violations" of the Council's rules by polling organisation "YouGov in a survey conducted in 2013 for the "Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The poll appeared to show that 8 out of 10 businesses backed Britain's continued membership of the EU. Vote Leave claimed that the poll was "wholly unrepresentative" of Britain's businesses due to skewed sampling in the poll and alleged that the research had "caused the public to be misled about the views of British businesses on the EU for nearly two years."[9][10] The British Polling Council's formal response concluded that YouGov had "not provided an adequate explanation of the sampling procedures that had been used to conduct the survey" at the time of publishing the survey,[11] whilst a leaked email sent in response to the initial complaint by Nick Moon, secretary of the British Polling Council, stated: “Survey looks pretty dodgy but luckily we don’t need to rule on that. But my initial thought is that YouGov did not give as much info as they should have.”[12][13] Vote Leave described the CBI as the "Voice of Brussels"[14] and also published research allegedly showing that the CBI had received over £1million in funding from the EU over the previous six years.[15]

Research released by Vote Leave in November argued that "David Cameron's plan to reduce the level of economic migration from the EU by restricting in-work benefits paid to EU migrants would be outweighed by the Government's plans to introduce a National Living Wage of £9-an-hour by 2020.[16] Vote Leave submitted an official statement in November in response to a "House of Lords inquiry on the relationship between EU membership and UK science, calling for science research to "replace EU membership as a fundamental priority for national policy."[17][18] An analysis by Vote Leave, published in December 2015, found that the costs of EU membership outweighed the benefits of the EU's single market as reported in the European Commission's own figures.[19][20]

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A "Vote Leave" poster in "Omagh saying "We send the EU £50 million every day. Let's spend it on our NHS instead."
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Vote Leave campaign material

On 3 February 2016, Vote Leave announced that former Conservative "Chancellor of the Exchequer "Lord Lawson would be taking over as interim chairman of the Vote Leave board. "Lord Forsyth, the former "Secretary of State for Scotland, was also appointed to the board at this time.[21][22][23]

On 20 February 2016, following David Cameron's announcement that the EU referendum would take place on 23 June 2016, five "Cabinet ministers publicly declared their support for Vote Leave: "Michael Gove, the "Lord Chancellor and "Justice Secretary, "Chris Grayling, "Leader of the House of Commons, "Iain Duncan Smith, the "Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, "John Whittingdale, the "Culture Secretary, "Theresa Villiers, the "Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as well cabinet-attending minister Priti Patel, the Minister of State for Employment.[24][25][26] This was followed by an announcement on 21 February by the then-"Mayor of London, "Boris Johnson MP, that he would also be backing the Vote Leave campaign.[27][28][29] Boris Johnson subsequently became one of the key figureheads for Vote Leave throughout the referendum campaign.

On 15 June 2016, Vote Leave presented its roadmap to lay out what would happen if Britain left the EU.[30] The blueprint suggested that Parliament would pass laws: Finance Bill to scrap VAT on "tampons and household energy bills; Asylum and Immigration Control Bill to end the automatic right of EU citizens to enter Britain; National Health Service (Funding Target) Bill to get an extra 100 million pounds a week; European Union Law (Emergency Provisions) Bill; Free Trade Bill to start to negotiate its own deals with non-EU countries; and European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Bill to end the "European Court of Justice's jurisdiction over Britain and stop making contributions to the EU budget.[30]

Campaign Committee[edit]

On 13 March 2016 Vote Leave announced the Vote Leave Campaign Committee, the public facing governing body that meets weekly to set the campaign strategy for Vote Leave.[31] This coincided with the announcement of Labour MP "Gisela Stuart as the new Chairman of Vote Leave (replacing Lord Lawson) along with Gisela Stuart and Michael Gove as Co-Conveners of the Committee.[32] The Vote Leave Campaign Committee is

Vote Leave Board[edit]

The Vote Leave board is legally responsible for the campaign.[31]

Supporters of Vote Leave[edit]

Members of Parliament supporting the organisation include UKIP MP "Douglas Carswell, Labour MP "Kelvin Hopkins, Conservative MPs "Steve Baker, "Bernard Jenkin and "Owen Paterson, and former "Ulster Unionist Party leader "Lord Trimble.

Relationship with other groups[edit]

Leave.EU and Grassroots Out[edit]

Vote Leave has focused on economic arguments against the European Union, while Leave.EU has made more of immigration-related issues. This has led to situations where Vote Leave and Leave.EU statements have contradicted each other, and sometimes to direct attacks by one pro-Brexit group against the other.[36] Infighting within Vote Leave and "Leave.EU, as well as disillusion with Cummings, led to the formation of "Grassroots Out (GO).[37] "Nigel Farage is a key member of the organisation and of Leave.EU and UKIP donor "Arron Banks is a major donor to GO,[37] whereas Vote Leave is a mainly Conservative campaign.[38]

Although the groups have pledged to work together, relations between them have been difficult, with some sources saying that "the loathing within the Brexit camp surpasses even that between Remain and Leave".[38] Farage has said that Vote Leave is headed by ""apparatchiks" and "cretins", saying that the organisation "brief[s] every day that I'm toxic, I put voters off, and there is absolutely no statistical evidence to back that up at all. ... It's crackers to think that you can win a referendum campaign with Boris [Johnson] and the likes of the cabinet", and became irritated when UKIP's sole MP "Douglas Carswell joined Vote Leave.[39] Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU's director of communications, told "Private Eye that "our private polling shows Remain will win if we carry on as we are".[38]

When Nigel Farage was selected for an interview with ITV's "Robert Peston instead of a Vote Leave representative, Vote Leave issued a statement accusing Peston of bias and threatening "consequences" for the broadcaster if Vote Leave members formed a government post-referendum.[40] "Michael Grade, Conservative life peer and former head of both the BBC and ITV, accused Vote Leave of using "unacceptable" "bullying tactics".[40] In response, Farage said that "I'm not going to compare myself to any of the others. ... But I do know the subject well. I've been doing this for a long time."[39]

Political parties[edit]

Labour MPs who want to exit the European Union on left-wing grounds have expressed their concern over being marginalised by "Conservative and "UKIP domination of the Vote Leave campaign. Labour donor John Mills was replaced by Conservative peer "Lord (Nigel) Lawson as chairman of the group on 5 February 2016, which prompted a source close to the campaign to tell "The Morning Star that "Given that we need to win over Labour and socialist voters to win, how can we have a Tory grandee leading the campaign? "Labour Leave's position in the campaign is very difficult after this."[41] The "Green Party of England and Wales' representative in the "House of Lords, "Baroness Jones, previously supported Vote Leave[4] but withdrew her support for the organisation following its decision to appoint Lawson as its chairman, "tweeting that she "Will vote to Leave EU but can't work with an organisation with so little judgement as to put Lawson at its head."[42] However in mid-March Labour MP "Gisela Stuart replaced Lawson as Chair of Vote Leave

Charities[edit]

"Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of Vote Leave, was former chief executive of the "TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) and founded Politics and Economics Research Trust (PERT) in 2004. Labour MP and former "Shadow Minister for Europe, "Emma Reynolds, questioned the affairs of the TPA and PERT, writing to the "Charity Commission that "Pert may be in breach of charities legally binding commitments to preserve their independence, specifically regarding political activity and the delivery of charitable objectives". Of £532,000 PERT paid out in grants in 2014, £300,000 went to the TPA and £205,000 to "Business for Britain, both of which are Eurosceptic. £10,000 went to "Global Britain, which has campaigned for "Brexit. Charitable trusts are not allowed to be used for political purposes under British charity law.[43]

Criticism[edit]

Strategy[edit]

During 2015, the group established a fake company[44] to gain entry to a speech being given by Prime Minister "David Cameron at the "Confederation of British Industry where they heckled him and held banners stating "CBI = voice of Brussels". Cummings subsequently stated: "You think it is nasty? You ain’t seen nothing yet. These guys have failed the country, they are going to be under the magnifying glass. Tough shit ... It is going to be tough".[45] The campaign also stated their intention to target and disrupt meetings of pro-EU organisations and companies.[46] In a letter to the "Electoral Commission, Sir "Eric Pickles, the former Conservative cabinet minister, said he believed Vote Leave had disqualified itself from lead status in the referendum (which entitles the campaign to public funding) after it pledged to run a "nasty" campaign against opponents.[45]

Post referendum campaign[edit]

Noting the absence of post victory celebrations, Nick Cohen in the Guardian believed it reflected the fear of two main leaders Johnson and Gove, both journalists, that they would be “found out.” The Leave camp had no plan and provided a single simplistic answer to EU problems condemning the UK Statistics Authority as “stooges” and other experts as “corrupt liars in Brussel’s pocket.” The campaign - an alliance of left and right wing campaigners -had made promises on immigration and the NHS which some politicians were backtracking on.[47]

"Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law and "Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law at the university of Liverpool, described the Vote Leave and other Leave campaigns as "one of the most dishonest political campaigns this country [the UK] has every seen".[48] His position was mirrored by many other experts and academics. [49]

In August 2016 the Electoral Reform Society published a highly critical report and called for a review of how such future events are run. Contrasting it unfavourably with the 'well-informed grassroots' campaign for "Scottish independence, Chief Executive "Katie Ghose described it as "dire" with “glaring democratic deficiencies” which left voters bewildered. She noted a generally negative response to establishment figures with 29% of voters saying "David Cameron made them more likely to vote leave whilst only 14% said he made them want to vote remain. Looking ahead, the society called for an official organisation to highlight misleading claims and for "Ofcom to define the role broadcasters are expected to play. [50]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EU referendum: New 'exit' group launches its campaign". BBC News. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Jon Stone (13 April 2016). "Vote Leave designated as official EU referendum Out campaign". 
  3. ^ George Parker (13 March 2016). "Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart to head Vote Leave group". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Millionaire donors and business leaders back Vote Leave campaign to exit EU". "The Guardian – via "Press Association. 
  5. ^ a b c "The Campaign". Vote Leave. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Businesses, MPs launch 'Vote Leave' campaign to push for Brexit". Reuters UK. Reuters Editorial. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "The battle to be the official EU referendum Leave campaign". BBC News. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rich, private school, Oxford. Meet John Mills, Labour's biggest donor". The Daily Telegraph. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Pro-Europe CBI poll was rigged, claims 'no' lobby". The Times. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Macer Hall. "CBI 'rigged survey to ensure it backed staying in the EU'". Daily Express. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "BPC Announces Findings in Respect of Complaint by Mr Dominic Cummings". British Polling Council. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Polling chief hits 'reply all' and calls anti-EU campaigner 'odious' in email over pro-Brussels poll". Daily Mail. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Vote Leave chief called 'odious' in email mistakenly sent to him by polling boss". Sun Nation. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "CBI attacked as 'voice of Brussels' by anti-EU campaigners". The Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "CBI 'compromised by EU cash'". The Times. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "George Osborne's £9 National Living Wage will make Britain a BIGGER draw for migrants". Daily Mail. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Vote Leave claims 'EU exit could make science bigger priority in UK'". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Relationship between EU membership and the effectiveness of UK science publications". UK Parliament. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "Costs of EU membership 'outweigh benefits'". The Daily Telegraph. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Macer Hall. "Britain is losing a staggering £4.5bn a year in EU membership – Politics – News – Daily Express". Daily Express. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Ex-Chancellor Lord Lawson To Lead 'Vote Leave'". Sky News. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "EU referendum: Lord Lawson to chair Vote Leave campaign". BBC News. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "Lord Lawson announced as chairman of Vote Leave as controversial figures are dropped from the board". The Daily Telegraph. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  24. ^ Peter Apps (20 February 2016). "EU referendum: Vote Leave launches campaign featuring Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  25. ^ Nicholas Watt. "Michael Gove and five other cabinet members break ranks with PM over EU". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  26. ^ Dan Bloom (20 February 2016). "How are Tory Cabinet ministers voting in the EU referendum?". mirror. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  27. ^ Nicholas Watt. "Boris Johnson to campaign for Brexit in EU referendum". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  28. ^ "Boris Johnson exclusive: There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU". The Daily Telegraph. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "EU referendum: Time to vote for real change, says Boris Johnson". BBC News. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  30. ^ a b EU referendum: Vote Leave sets out post-Brexit plans BBC News, 15 June 2016
  31. ^ a b "Gisela Stuart to Chair Vote Leave campaign". Vote Leave. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  32. ^ "Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart to head Vote Leave group". Financial Times. 
  33. ^ "Bagehot" (21 January 2016). "An interview with Dominic Cummings". The Economist. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  34. ^ Samuel Osborne (5 March 2016). "EU referendum: BCC boss John Longworth 'suspended over Brexit comments'". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  35. ^ "Business boss suspended after board told Downing Street was 'pretty damned angry'". The Daily Telegraph. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  36. ^ Jim Waterson (18 April 2016). "Anti-EU Campaign Groups Are Contradicting Each Other And It's A Mess". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  37. ^ a b "Sceptic Cranks". Private Eye (1411). Pressdram Ltd. 5 February 2016. p. 13. 
  38. ^ a b c 'Ratbiter' (27 May 2016). "Outers who want Kippers for breakfast". Private Eye (1419). Pressdram Ltd. p. 11. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  39. ^ a b Aitkenhead, Decca (20 May 2016). "Nigel Farage: 'Vote Leave brief every day that I'm toxic. Quite the opposite'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  40. ^ a b Ned Simmons (12 May 2016). "Vote Leave Brexit Campaign Accused of Deploying 'Shocking Bullying Tactics' Over TV Debates". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  41. ^ James, Luke (5 February 2016). "Labour MPs warn of split as Vote Leave turns right". The Morning Star. p. 3. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  42. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (5 February 2016). "EU campaign feuds may lead to no official Brexit group". "The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  43. ^ Boffey, Daniel (12 December 2015). "Charity alleged to have illegally funded Brexit campaign groups". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  44. ^ Matt Dathan (9 November 2015). "Anti-EU protesters create fake firm to heckle David Cameron during CBI speech". The Independent. 
  45. ^ a b Nicholas Watt (11 November 2015). "Eric Pickles says Vote Leave campaign should be denied lead status". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  46. ^ "Hecklers interrupt David Cameron's EU speech to the CBI". Financial Times. 
  47. ^ Nick Cohen (25 June 2016). "There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2017.  Nick Cohen
  48. ^ "Professor Michael Dougan assesses UK’s position following vote to leave the EU". 30 Jun 2016. Retrieved 30 Jun 2016. 
  49. ^ "EU referendum: nine out of 10 university staff back Remain". June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  50. ^ Rajeev Syal (1 September 2016). "Electoral reform campaigners slam ‘dire’ EU referendum debate". Guardian newspapers. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
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