Labour Leave


Labour Leave is a Eurosceptic campaign group in the United Kingdom. The group is unofficially affiliated with the Labour Party, and campaigned for the United Kingdom to vote to withdraw from the European Union, in the June 2016 EU Referendum.[1][2] The group was led by eurosceptic Labour MPs: Graham Stringer, Kelvin Hopkins, and Roger Godsiff.[3][4]

Labour Leave
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

Kate Hoey was another co chair in the group, until she reportedly resigned in February 2016.[5] Labour MP Gisela Stuart did not participate in the group, instead chairing the official leave campaign, Vote Leave.[6]

John Mills officially resigned as chairman of Labour Leave, in July 2018.[7] The supporters page of the website, in January 2019, listed only Brendan Chilton (chair) and MPs, Kate Hoey and Frank Field (on 30 August 2018, Field had resigned the Labour whip).[8] Chilton is also the general secretary, and the only director of Labour Leave Limited.[9] The group is still active, as of May 2021.

Position within Vote Leave


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.[10]

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.[10]

Funding For The Group

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 campaign group for Brexit, Vote Leave, an organisation which is (mostly) Conservative.[11]

The Electoral Commission shows Labour Leave received £15,000 from Vote Leave in February. It also received £50,000, from donor of the Conservatives, Jeremy Hosking,[12] 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).[11]

Barnett attributed this collaboration, between opposing political organisations, to a desire by the Conservatives to split the vote, on the Labour EU Referendum,[11] as it was alleged that Labour members were unsure, of their party's position on Brexit.[11][13]

Labour Leave continue to raise money, from crowd sourcing campaigns, and from direct donations from their supporters and members.[citation needed] Labour Leave was fined £9,000 in March 2019, by the Electoral Commission, for an inaccurate campaign spending return, and inaccurate donation reports, at the 2016 EU Referendum.[14]

References


  1. "Labour Leave has no confidence in David Cameron's EU renegotiation". LabourList. 10 October 2015.
  2. "Labour Leave".
  3. "Labour Leave – Board". Archived from the original on 16 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  4. "Vote Leave launches". Vote Leave. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  5. Hughes, Laura (5 February 2016). "Kate Hoey quits Brexit group after leadership row". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. Elgot, Jessica (9 June 2016). "EU referendum debates: when and where to watch them". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. "Statement: Stepping down from political organisations". John Mills. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  8. "Supporters". Labourleave.org.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  9. "Labour Leave Limited - people". Companieshouse.gov.uk. Companies House. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  10. James, Luke (5 February 2016). "Labour MPs warn of split as Vote Leave turns right". Morning Star. p. 3. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  11. 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.
  12. "Search - The Electoral Commission". search.electoralcommission.org.uk.
  13. Mason, Rowena (30 May 2016). "Labour voters in the dark about party's stance on Brexit, research says". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  14. "Monthly update - concluded investigations Published: 19 Mar 2019". Electoralcommission.org.uk/. Electoral Commission (UK). Retrieved 19 March 2019.