Labour Leave is funded by Tory donors and Vote Leave, not ‘Labour and trade unions’

Left Brexit group's donations don't match its claims

Labour Leave is a major Left Brexit campaign group with an active social media presence. It claims on its website:

‘Labour’s Vote-to-LEAVE campaign is funded and staffed by Labour, Trades Unions and Socialist Society Members.’

Why then are its two biggest funders Conservative Party donors, and its third biggest funder the official Brexit campaign group Vote Leave?

The Electoral Commission (which records all donations above £7,500) shows Labour Leave received £15,000 from Vote Leave in February.

Labour Leave also received £50,000 from Jeremy Hosking, a donor to the Conservative Party who has to date given the Tories £569,100.

Hosking donated £100,000 to the Conservative Party last April ahead of the general election, and gave another £50,000 in March of this year – the same month he bunged £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.

The building is home to several right-wing groups including the Taxpayers’ Alliance, (founded by Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott), and the Global Warming Policy Foundation, chaired by Lord Lawson, who is also chairman of Vote Leave.

Smith is said to be close to David Cameron (though not on Europe) and has donated over £30,000 to the Conservative Party between 2005 and 2009.

Why these people are funding a Labour Brexit group is obvious: they hope to split the Labour vote in the EU referendum.

(Yesterday the Guardian reported a leaked memo from Britain Stronger In Europe suggests only half of Labour members know their party is for staying in the EU.)

But why is Labour Leave claiming to be funded by ‘Labour, Trades Unionists and Socialist Society Members’ when its three biggest funders are Conservative Party donors, a right-wing activist and the official Brexit campaign led by Boris Johnson?

Labour Leave has been contacted for comment but has not responded at time of publication.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

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