Leave.EU write to MPs about their 'ongoing struggle' against rivals Vote Leave

Leave.EU write to MPs about their 'ongoing struggle' against rivals Vote Leave

Click to follow
Indy Politics

One of the campaigns to leave the EU has written to MPs to update them on their “ongoing struggle” against a rival campaign, which also wants to leave the EU.

Leave.EU sent the letter criticising Vote Leave to Conservative MPs on Friday morning.

The two campaigns are locked in a battle over who will be the official campaign to leave the European Union – a row threatening to overshadow the early stages of debate about the EU itself.

The official designation gives the victor access to public funds, a £7m spending limit, and television broadcasts.

Social media users have compared the row between the two campaigns to a Monty Python Sketch featuring the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front

In the letter Arron Banks, the co-chair of Leave.EU, describes Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings, two senior figures in Vote Leave, as “two of the nastiest individuals I have ever had the misfortune to meet”.

“Vote Leave now no has no real cross-party support, and I would urge you to consider supporting GO,” the letter urges.

The text of the letter was press-released to journalists for good measure.

On Thursday Mr Banks also released a statement criticising the rival campaign as interested in taking forward “a business, not a cause”.

Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings is a former advisor to Michael Gove

Responding to the letter, spokesperson for Vote Leave said: “We wish Arron well.”

The group yesterday stressed that it had not sent any public press releases attacking Leave.EU.

However, Leave.EU points to a leaked internal email by former Vote Leave chair John Mills accusing figures in his own group of “damaging bickering”.

The letter sent to Conservative MPs by Leave.EU

Mr Cummings was said by his colleague to have sent a rude text message to someone from the rival campaign.

“What on earth are you doing, generating more ill-feeling like this entirely unnecessarily?” Mr Mills wrote Mr Elliott and Mr Cummings.

“I thought you had promised to stop doing this sort of thing. Don’t you realise that this kind of behaviour puts more and more damaging and unnecessary strain on everyone?”

Mr Mills, a Labour figure, stood down from his position this week and is now the deputy chair of the campaign.

The row between the two campaigns comes as the Spectator reports that Labour Leave, a Labour-orientated group campaign to leave the EU, will split from Vote Leave – potentially creating a third organisation. 

The two groups had hitherto been merged.

The row comes amid polls showing significant public dissatisfaction with David Cameron’s draft EU package – and an uphill struggle for the PM to get other EU leaders to agree to it.