Opinion Politics

Is pro-Brexit Labour Leave a nest of infiltrating UKIP vipers?

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According to the Electoral Commission Labour Leave, the pro-Brexit group led by Labour MPs Gisela Stuart and Kate Hoey, made an £18,500 referendum donation to UKIP.

Labour Leave handed over the payment on 21 June 2016, two days before the EU referendum.

Its data on the transfer of funds shows that Labour Leave made the transfer on 20 June, which was accepted by UKIP the following day.

In other words, a pro-Labour group helped to finance a party that wish to destroy the Labour Party in its heartland of the north of England.

Labour Leave has since tried to explain the gift by suggesting it was to pay for cross-party events during the campaign.

A spokesman for the organisation said:

During the EU referendum campaign, Labour Leave co-organised rallies with other groups in favour of Brexit.

These were cross-party events and included representatives from Labour, the Conservatives, UKIP, and other non-partisan organisations.

Labour Leave agreed to share the administrative costs of these rallies. This administrative payment to UKIP was our share of those costs.

UKIP also confirmed that the donation was for event funding during the campaign. But the donation was made directly to UKIP head office and not to one of the dedicated pro-Brexit groups. Which is clearly unusual and raises concerns over the true nature of the group.

Even worse, the group seems to clearly support UKIP in the forthcoming Stoke-On-Trent by-election that will see Labour go up against Paul Nuttal.

Several newspapers reported a poll commissioned by Labour Leave in Stoke on Trent where it claimed that UKIP was on course to win the seat with 35% of the votes, while Labour would only get a poor 25%.

In a well-planned attack, Labour Leave suggested that Labour would need a pro-Leave candidate to win in the so-called capital of Brexit, or it will be wiped out by UKIP.

But what the group forgot to mention was that the poll was probably a Facebook one with no scientific methodology.

And to give some credibility to what is nothing more than a marketing tool in favour of UKIP, Labour Leave even produced a document to explain their findings.

The document itself contains no sign of who did the fieldwork, how the data was weighted or even what mode it was conducted by.

Even worse, the document does not have any information about the demographics of the achieved sample. Worryingly it doesn’t even specify that it was specifically Stoke Central. All we have is a sample size of 182, potentially Facebook fans of the group that don’t even live in Stoke-On-Trent.

But Labour Leave still claim that 81% of voters in the constituency who indicated they would vote UKIP have previously voted for Labour. And that suggests a massive switch of support from the party.

And this was enough for the right wing media to use this poll as an evidence that UKIP will win Stoke-On-Trent.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the first time that this group came under fire for its suspicious links with Conservative donors and far-right sympathisers.

The electoral commission shows that Labour Leave received £15,000 from Vote Leave in February, a pro-Brexit group close to UKIP and well-known for its anti-immigrant views.

Labour Leave also received a whooping £50,000 donation from Jeremy Hosking, a Conservative donor who has gave close to £600,000 to the Conservative Party in 2016.

While the group still claim to be financed by “socialist and trade unionists” and want a Labour government, it is evident that Labour Leave is shady organisation that receives money from rich Tory donors and helps UKIP to win in the north of England.

As Labour Leave has chosen to finance UKIP against the interest of its own party, Labour MPs Stuart and Hoey have serious question to answer as to why they continue to support an organisation that only purpose seems to defeat the Labour Party.

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