No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers’ Alliance – or does it?

The gaffe-prone No2AV campaign appears to be trying to decontaminate its brand by axing Matthew Elliott as director and installing 2010 Tory PPC Charlotte Vere.

Update 16:30hrs

The No2AV campaign have been in touch to inform us that Matthew Elliott remains as campaign director. It was believed that Charlotte Vere had taken over from Elliott after her Twitter profile was changed to “Director of No to AV” and Elliott’s became “Founder and Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance in the UK”; see below:


The No2AV website, however, does still list Elliott as campaign director, though in the light of previous events, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise…


The gaffe-prone No2AV campaign would appear to be trying to decontaminate its brand by dropping TaxPayers’ Alliance founder Matthew Elliott as director and installing former Tory PPC Charlotte Vere, who steps up from being the group’s national organiser – though many still believe TPA money and influence to be at the heart of the operation.

Charlotte-Vere-Matthew-ElliottOver Christmas, it was reported that Unite, Britain’s largest trade union with more than two million members, was set to support the No2AV campaign and commit to funding it, described as an “unholy alliance” by The Independent; could this appearance of distancing themselves from the TPA be an attempt to seal the deal?

In November, Guy Aitchison, in an article on Left Foot Forward, outlined the links between the anti-union TPA and the ‘No’ campaign:

“The No campaign has drawn on the resources of its wealthy backers – people who have most to gain from the status quo – to fund a new video and a series of online ads designed to sow anger and confusion.

“The video asks what are the “burning issues” for you this bonfire weekend, before pointing out that “cuts”, “jobs”, “schools” and “hospitals” are being ignored for a referendum on the Alternative Vote. It is striking how there is zero discussion of the issues raised by electoral reform in the video. Instead, the focus is solely on the alleged cost of the referendum.

“This, then, is how the No campaign will be playing it. With easy populist slogans, designed to spread confusion and exploit popular anger at the cuts. The irony, of course, is that the message comes from a mixture of Tories and TPA luminaries, people who have done more than anyone else to further the government’s cuts agenda.

“And make no mistake, they take the very opposite view of the cuts to the one implied by this video. They know that they have every reason to fear democracy.”

Vere, meanwhile, sparked controversy last year while campaigning in the general election, comparing the Green party with the far-Right British National Party, described by the Green party’s election campaign director as “cheap nonsense” – though it turned out Vere was an ineffective as she was insulting, the Greens’ Caroline Lucas winning the seat of Brighton Pavilion to become the first green MP.

Also during the campaign, it was reported that:

“… At a recent meeting with students from the University of Sussex, Ms. Vere failed to answer many of the questions, simply brushing them off and saying, ‘I’ll get back to you.’

“She also dismissed the student vote as ‘socialist’ in a recent interview with The Daily Politics – further reinforcing the image of an out of touch Tory candidate who knows very little about the constituency they’re fighting in…”

• The referendum on the alternative vote takes place in less than four months’ time, on Thursday, May 5th.

26 Responses to “No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers’ Alliance – or does it?”

  1. Philip

    RT @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/ejrtny <<< Not one single reason presented why I should vote Yes. Just smears. Pathetic and counter-productive

  2. Philip Cane

    RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  3. Edward Mann

    RT @CharlotteV: Oh dear – Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was and is in charge! I am Director – Fin …

  4. Jago

    RT @CharlotteV: Oh dear – Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was and is in charge! I am Director – Fin …

  5. Sabrina Francis

    Lolz RT @CharlotteV: Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was & is in charge! I am Director-Finance. #no2av

  6. Vote No To AV

    RT @CharlotteV: Oh dear – Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was and is in charge! I am Director – Fin …

  7. Craig

    RT @CharlotteV: Oh dear – Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was and is in charge! I am Director – Fin …

  8. Guido Fawkes

    Since Will has left this blog has increasingly turned into a “no-evidence based blog”.

  9. Kira

    RT @sabfrancis: Lolz RT @CharlotteV: Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was & is in charge! I am Direc …

  10. Kira

    RT @Howupsetting: RT @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/ejrtny <<< Not one single reason presented why I should vote Yes. Just smears. …

  11. Robert Gough

    RT @Howupsetting: RT @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/ejrtny <<< Not one single reason presented why I should vote Yes. Just smears. …

  12. Daniel Harley

    RT @CharlotteV: Oh dear – Gaffe-prone @leftfootfwd gets it wrong: //bit.ly/ej3myS Elliott was and is in charge! I am Director – Fin …

  13. Daniel Pitt

    RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/ejrtny by @ShamikDas #Yes2AV

  14. Jack

    There was a broad consensus in Brighton at the general election Charlotte Vere is a complete joke. I think a lot of pro-reform people did a little jump for joy when they found out she was heading up the No campaign. Her seat at the general election was about as marginal as you could get and with all of Ashcroft’s big guns behind her she actually managed a swing of only 0.4%, well under the Tories’ national swing and well, well under their substantial lead in marginal seats.

  15. Labour Yes

    RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  16. Jago

    RT @leftfootfwd: UPDATE: @Matthew_Elliott remains as campaign director of No2AV; for explanation see: //bit.ly/ejrtny

  17. Shamik Das

    It stays but has bn updated > RT @CharlotteV: @shamikdas So – will you take your nonsense article down?! //bit.ly/ej3myS It isn't true.

  18. Debsalini

    And despite all this, I am not convinced that a yes result in May will deliver the political reform that many of us are really after. In fact, I fear that we will be stuck with the miserable little compromise for generations.

  19. Samuel Tarry

    RT @labouryes: RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  20. David Prescott

    Hey @leftfootfwd! I thought you guys were evidenced based! Hate to say it but this is really shoddy blogging //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  21. Nick Sutton

    RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  22. Matt Raven

    RT @nick_sutton22: RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  23. Νέα Νέμεσις Εργασίας

    Oh dear! Another own-goal from desperate @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/f4LgPO Wrongly thought @wdjstraw's departure might lead to improvement!

  24. Labour Yes

    RT @SamTarry: RT @labouryes: RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  25. Kevin McKeever

    RT @SamTarry: RT @labouryes: RT @leftfootfwd: No2AV campaign distances itself from TaxPayers' Alliance – or does it? //bit.ly/f4LgPO

  26. Elliot Folan

    It seems that Charlotte Vere is a hypocrite about AV.

    She won the Tory candidacy by the use of a similar system (run-off voting).

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