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Can Leave.EU control its members? This video suggests not

3 December 2015

8:31 AM

3 December 2015

8:31 AM

A bizarre video has been released on the YouTube channel of Leave.EU, one of the campaigns vying for the official Brexit nomination. It was entitled ‘We Are At War Again’ and tweeted through its official account – before it was swiftly taken offline. Coffee House has received a copy of the video. You can watch it above.

In the video, Ireland is labelled ‘The Balkans’ and countries in the Middle East are labelled a ‘bunch of foreigners’ and ‘f*ck knows’. The Leave.EU campaign say this is not an official video and it was uploaded to its website by one of its 350,000 ‘users’. A Leave.EU spokesman says:

‘It was a video produced in February this year, prior to the General Election titled LibLabCon — it is not a Leave.EU video and has never been. It was posted as a Leave.EU video today, not from our office, in light of the Syria debate. We removed it from every platform as soon as we saw it.’

Embarrassing. But it would be more embarrassing if Leave.EU was portrayed as the official voice of Brexit: this is precisely the kind of slip that would be seized by the pro-EU camp to portray their opponents as bunch of swivel-eyed loons. Little wonder that Vote Leave – the other Brexit campaign vying for the Electoral Commission’s designation – is using this as an example as to why Leave.EU and its founder Arron Banks are unfit to be the official ‘Out’ campaign.

A senior Conservative involved with the Vote Leave campaign says:

‘It is impossible for the Electoral Commission to designate as the official Leave campaign an organisation that releases racist adverts describing part of Britain as “the Balkans” and mocking foreigners.

‘It’s game over for Arron’s attempt to grab control of the campaign and put [Nigel] Farage in charge. Arron is utterly unfit to have a role with the official campaign.’

At this point, it remains unclear who made this video, where it came from and how it ended up being sent out of Leave.EU’s channels. But one thing is certain: the animosity between Leave.EU and Vote Leave is stronger than ever. The row over this video certainly marks the end of any talk of a merger — if it was ever serious in the first place.

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