Last week Vote Leave’s Dom Cummings was hauled before the Treasury Select Committee to be grilled on the Brexit campaign by a po-faced Andrew Tyrie. What followed was a lively exchange between Cummings and the committee chair as Tyrie tried to pin Cummings down on figures used in Vote Leave’s campaign literature. Today Cummings’s comrade Matthew Elliott was supposed to sit before the committee but the Vote Leave chief exec was once again unable to make it.
Instead Arron Banks — of the rival group Leave.EU — is answering questions from the committee on the Brexit campaign. With little love lost between Banks’s Leave.EU and Vote Leave — which won the official designation — Tyrie began by trying to establish a brief history of the bad blood that exists between the two campaigns. The Conservative MP noted that the feud sounded like an ‘extraordinary fratricidal war’:
AT: You said that their admission to the electoral commission was I quote “full of lies and misrepresentations”. You said that Vote Leave are lying and misrepresenting the situation. These people are “jokes”. That he in particular — that’s Matthew Elliott — wants to be “Lord Elliott of loserville”, and that he — Dominic Cummings — is a “liability and a danger” to both Leave campaigns…
AB: I think you saw this evidence last week, so I don’t think I need to answer that question
AT: To put it mildly, most of those — and I won’t comment on the comment you just made — do require a bit of substantiation
Mr S suspects that’s a first for the term ‘loserville’ has been used during a select committee.