Lots of allegations have been made about the behaviour of the leave campaign – and it’s well past time for them to come clean:
Vote Leave got away with lying about money for the NHS, visas for Commonwealth citizens and much more, but now the truth about the Brexit deal is emerging, they won’t be able to lie anymore.
Astonishing claims have emerged today that suggests Leave campaigns worked together overspend during the European Referendum. If true, this could be illegal.
Documents released by a new campaign group alongside evidence from whistle-blower Shahmir Sanni, suggest that Vote Leave, the official campaign, and BeLeave, a youth targeting group run by two young graduates, worked closely together during the referendum, despite Electoral Commission rules which forbid that sort of collusion.
To add to the seediness, Vote Leave allegedy made a direct payment “on behalf” of BeLeave of £625,000 to a voter targeting company called Aggregate IQ. The intellectual property for Aggregate IQ is owned by Robert Mercer.
Who is this Mr Mercer?
Well, he’s the same far-right American Trump supporter who owns 90% of Cambridge Analytica. Oh, and Aggregate IQ was reportedly run out of the same offices as the Canadian branch of SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company.
For those of you who haven’t caught up on last week’s news, Cambridge Analytica is accused of obtaining personal data on millions of people in order to mass manipulate voters in the Trump campaign.
So, does this all prove that the Leave campaign cheated, lied and tried to cover it up?
It certainly points in that direction, and if the Vote Leave campaign and their patrons Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have any respect for democracy, it’s time they come clean and give us some answers.
If the Vote Leave campaign and their patrons Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have any respect for democracy, it’s time they come clean
Dominic Cummings and his colleagues need to clarify what relationship Vote Leave had with BeLeave, how closely they worked together and why they started removing key people from shared folders when the Electoral Commission started to investigate them.
If what Sharmir Sanni says is true, BeLeave had no control over what they were doing or what they spent their campaign money on.
It’s certainly true that the £625,000 donated to them from Vote Leave never touched BeLeave’s bank accounts, so how can Cummings claim that they didn’t have any say in what was going on?
Vote Leave also needs to admit whether Aggregate IQ had any access to the data that Cambridge Analytica used in the US election. Given how much bleating there has been from top Leave campaigners about their links to Trump, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t want to be deploying the same underhand tactics.
A fair vote on the deal now needs to happen
This strengthens the Liberal Democrat call to give the British people a vote on the terms of the new deal we get with the EU.