Labour Leave

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Labour Leave
Labour Leave.png
PurposeUnited Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union
Region served
United Kingdom
Key people
Graham Stringer MP
Kelvin Hopkins MP
Roger Godsiff MP
Kate Hoey MP
Frank Field MP
AffiliationsVote Leave
Labour Party (UK)
(unofficial)
Websitelabourleave.org.uk
Part of a series of articles on the
British membership
of the
European Union
UK location in the EU 2016.svg
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom portal
Flag of Europe.svg European Union portal

Labour Leave is a campaign group unofficially within the Labour Party, which campaigned for the United Kingdom to vote to withdraw from the European Union in the 2016 EU Referendum.[1][2] The group was led by eurosceptic Labour MPs: Graham Stringer, Kelvin Hopkins, and Roger Godsiff.[3][4] Kate Hoey was another co chair in the group, until she reportedly resigned in February 2016.[5]

In July 2018, John Mills resigned as chairman of Labour Leave.[6] In January 2019, the supporters page of the website listed only Brendan Chilton (chair) and MPs, Kate Hoey and Frank Field (on 30 August 2018, Field had resigned the Labour whip).[7] Chilton is also the general secretary and the only director of Labour Leave Limited.[8]

Position within Vote Leave[edit]

The organisation's position within the Vote Leave campaign has been seen as precarious, a source close to the campaign told the Morning Star, due to a perceived domination of the Vote Leave campaign by Conservative and UKIP officials. Of Vote Leave's seventeen strong governing board, only two members (Mills and Stringer) are members of Labour Leave.[9]

In response to this, the idea of a campaign wholly independent of both Vote Leave and Leave.EU had been suggested by Hoey and Hopkins, among others.[9]

Funding for the group[edit]

Adam Barnett on the left-wing political blog Left Foot Forward wrote that Labour Leave's two biggest funders were Conservative Party donors, and its third biggest funder was the official Brexit campaign group Vote Leave, a mostly Conservative organisation.[10]

The Electoral Commission shows Labour Leave received £15,000 from Vote Leave in February. It also received £50,000 from Conservative donor Jeremy Hosking,[11] who had given the Conservatives almost £570,000 by June 2016.

Hosking donated £100,000 to the Conservative Party in April 2015, and donated £50,000 in March 2016 (the same month he gave £50,000 to Labour Leave). Labour Leave took a further £150,000 in May from Richard Smith, believed to be the owner of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster (home of several right-wing groups).[10]

Barnett attributes this collaboration between opposing political organisations to a desire by the Conservatives to split the Labour EU Referendum vote,[10] as it has been alleged that Labour members are unsure of their party's position on Brexit.[10][12]

Labour Leave continue to raise money from crowd sourcing campaigns and from direct donations from their supporters and members.[citation needed] In March 2019, Labour Leave was fined £9,000 by the Electoral Commission for an inaccurate campaign spending return and inaccurate donation reports at the 2016 EU Referendum.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Labour Leave has no confidence in David Cameron's EU renegotiation". LabourList. 2015-10-10.
  2. ^ "Labour Leave".
  3. ^ "Labour Leave – Board".
  4. ^ "Vote Leave launches". Vote Leave.
  5. ^ Hughes, Laura (5 February 2016). "Kate Hoey quits Brexit group after leadership row". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Statement: Stepping down from political organisations". John Mills. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  7. ^ "Supporters". Labourleave.org.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Labour Leave Limited - people". Companieshouse.gov.uk. Companies House. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b James, Luke (5 February 2016). "Labour MPs warn of split as Vote Leave turns right". Morning Star. p. 3. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Barnett, Adam (1 June 2016). "Labour Leave is funded by Tory donors and Vote Leave, not 'Labour and trade unions'". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Search - The Electoral Commission". search.electoralcommission.org.uk.
  12. ^ Mason, Rowena (30 May 2016). "Labour voters in the dark about party's stance on Brexit, research says". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Monthly update - concluded investigations Published: 19 Mar 2019". Electoralcommission.org.uk/. Electoral Commission (UK). Retrieved 19 March 2019.

External links[edit]