People’s Vote campaign is scrapped as organisers accept a second Brexit referendum is not going to happen under Boris Johnson
- Open Britain, which runs campaign, conceded fresh vote is no longer possible
- The group will instead rebrand to hold the government to account over Brexit
- Comms manager Tom Baldwin said there was no chance of second referendum
Leading Remainers on Thursday watched their hopes of a second EU referendum go up in smoke as the Prime Minister stormed to a decisive 80-seat majority with which he can ram through his withdrawal deal.
Open Britain, which runs the campaign, conceded a fresh vote is no longer a realistic possibility and made the decision to mothball the grassroots movement.
The group will instead rebrand to an organisation that holds the government to account as it charts a course outside of the EU.
Tom Baldwin, communications director of the People’s Vote campaign, said he ‘(didn’t) think there is much chance’ of the public having a final say.
The so-called People’s Vote campaign is to be scrapped following Boris Johnson’s overwhelming Brexit mandate (rally in London in October)
Leading Remainers on Thursday watched their hopes of a second EU referendum go up in smoke as the Prime Minister (celebrating outside CCHQ) stormed to a decisive 80-seat majority with which he can ram through his withdrawal deal
In a statement, Open Britain said: ‘The People’s Vote will now refocus its campaign to concentrate on vital social issues that this Government must urgently prioritise in its Brexit.
‘We urge the Government to avoid a hard Brexit that will be a disaster for our country and instead work with our European partners to get the fair deal that British people deserve.
‘The poorest and most vulnerable will be further marginalised if Boris Johnson’s Government crashes us out of the EU with no deal.
‘Early next year, the People’s Vote campaign will rebrand and reorganise to campaign for a fair deal for Britain.’
Open Britain formed out of the ashes of Britain Stronger In Europe, the official 2016 Remain campaign, and looked to convince the electorate that the public should be given a final say on any Brexit deal.
In October, just as a December election was looking on the cards, the outfit was wracked by division as infighting broke out at the top of its ranks.
Roland Rudd, the now former chairman of Open Britain, looked to oust director James McGrory and Mr Baldwin in a bid to re-shape the messaging.
PR guru Mr Rudd – brother to ex-Home Secretary Amber Rudd – would go on to quit the organisation after failing in his bid to bring in new leadership.
Tom Baldwin (right), communications director of the People’s Vote campaign, said he ‘(didn’t) think there is much chance’ of the public having a final say. In October, just as a December election was looking on the cards, the outfit was wracked by division as in-fighting broke out at the top of its ranks when Roland Rudd (right) made a power grab
Reflecting on the election result, Mr Baldwin laid the blame for the lack of ‘people’s vote’ campaign impact at Mr Rudd’s door, citing how 52 per cent of the electorate had voted for parties supporting a second referendum.
‘Sadly, I don’t think there is much chance of a Peoples Vote now, even though you can argue a majority voted for parties backing it yesterday,’ tweeted the ex-political spin doctor for former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
‘@RolandRudd really did for the campaign a few weeks back.’
In a post on Twitter, Mr McGrory – an adviser to Nick Clegg during his time as deputy prime minister in the coalition government – said: ‘When my niece, nephew and godson ask me about these times, I’ll only be able to say: I tried.
‘I gave it everything I had but I failed you. And I am so sorry. But I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you by fighting for the progressive values needed now more than ever.’
The People’s Vote campaign spearheaded a huge London rally this October, where it claimed close to a million supporters took to the streets.