Vote Leave win bid to lead EU referendum out campaign

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley and Grassroots Out campaigner.
Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley and Grassroots Out campaigner.

Vote Leave beat Grassroots Out to take charge of the leave campaign ahead of the June 23 EU referendum after official designation from the Electoral Commission.

The remain campaign will be led by ‘The In Campaign Ltd’.

Vote Leave has been selected as the official campaign group to leave the EU.

Vote Leave has been selected as the official campaign group to leave the EU.

Explaining its decision to designate ‘Vote Leave Ltd’ ahead of the two other competing applications, Claire Bassett, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission said: “Where there are competing applicants for a particular outcome the law is clear, we must designate the applicant which appears to us to represent those campaigning for that outcome to the greatest extent.

“We received two high quality applications on the ‘Leave’ side, from ‘Vote Leave Ltd’ and ‘The Go Movement Ltd’. After careful consideration, the Commission decided that ‘Vote Leave Ltd’ better demonstrated that it has the structures in place to ensure the views of other campaigners are represented in the delivery of its campaign."

The decision will be a blow to Grassroots Out will held a high profile rally in London attended by UKIP leader Nigel Farage and former Bradford and Respect Party MP George Galloway.

Long-term anti-EU campaigner Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, was also a member of Grassroots Out, and had campaigned in Yorkshire for the group, which was distinctive due to its lime green colour scheme and members propensity to wear matching ties.

The European Union in numbers.

The European Union in numbers.

There was only one applicant for designation to be lead campaigner for the ‘Remain’ outcome, ‘The In Campaign Ltd’ and the Commission decided that it adequately represented those campaigning for this outcome.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition had also submitted plans to lead the leave campaign.

The winning campaign teams will now have access to a spending limit of £7 million, one free distribution of information to voters through a leaflet, the use of certain public rooms and referendum campaign broadcasts.

A grant of up to £600,000 to be used for certain spending including the administration costs associated with setting up and running a referendum campaign and the costs associated with the TV broadcasts and free mailing to voters that they are entitled to as lead campaigners

They also get a dedicated page in the Commission’s public information booklet which will be distributed to all households in the UK.

Peter Bone MP, co-founder of Grassroots Out, was quick to dampen speculation that the group might launch a challenge to the official designation of Vote Leave.

He said: "We congratulate Vote Leave on securing designation and we thank our supporters for all the hard work they have put into the campaign so far.

"We draw our support from right across the political spectrum and from tens of thousands of grassroots campaigners of no particular political affiliation.

"We are motivated by a deep sense of patriotism and the unflinching belief that the UK will be safer, stronger and more independent outside the EU. We will be able to control our own borders, build our prosperity by trading freely with the whole world, and restore our historic right to self government.

"We look forward to working closely and productively with all those who want to see the UK set free to determine its own destiny. We are determined to play our part in creating a united front to secure victory on June 23 for Leave – Independence Day."