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17 July 2019

BuzzFeed: The People’s Vote campaign is at war over whether it should back remaining in the EU

Leaked emails between key second-referendum supporters, including Alastair Campbell and A.C. Grayling, reveal the campaign is embroiled in acrimony among its "warring factions".

The People’s Vote group is at war over whether it should explicitly campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, with “blazing rows” over strategy among senior officials at its headquarters in recent weeks.

Leaked emails and WhatsApp messages seen by BuzzFeed News reveal that the tensions among leading People’s Vote campaigners have boiled over into outright animosity.

The bitter internal divisions are centred on a fundamental strategic disagreement over whether People’s Vote should overtly campaign to remain in the EU, BuzzFeed News can reveal. The factional warfare comes to a head as a march is due to take place in London this Saturday, which is being “aggressively” opposed by senior People’s Vote strategists behind the scenes because they feel the event is too overtly pro-EU.


In an extraordinary private intervention from the great and the good of the pro-EU movement, six prominent second-referendum campaigners, including A.C. Grayling and Patience Wheatcroft, complained to People’s Vote chair Roland Rudd that his campaign was not “fit for purpose” because there was “no sign of cooperation and unity” among what they called its “warring factions”.

The “narrow infighting” in People’s Vote meant it was “unlikely to endure the pressures of a second referendum campaign,” they warned in a devastating indictment of the organisation and its key personnel.

In another heated email exchange between senior People’s Vote adviser Alastair Campbell and the group’s deputy chair, Hugo Dixon, Campbell accused Dixon of playing “games” over the role of the campaign’s controversial communications director Tom Baldwin. Dixon replied to the former Tony Blair spin doctor: “I think you have a lot more experience in political games than me." [...]

Full exclusive on BuzzFeed News

© BuzzFeed News

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