Chairman accused of launching ‘wrecking ball’ through People’s Vote campaign

The head of communications for the People’s Vote campaign has accused the chairman of putting a “wrecking ball” through the campaign amid an apparent power struggle in the group working towards a second EU referendum.

Tom Baldwin said Roland Rudd, chairman of the campaign, is “making a mistake that I think a lot of businessmen do when they dabble in politics”.

Mr Rudd, meanwhile, denied there was any row.

Asked if he has been sacked by Mr Rudd, Mr Baldwin said there is a “curious situation”, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Roland Rudd has chosen this time to put a wrecking ball really through the campaign.

Roland Rudd
Roland Rudd is chairman of the campaign (PA)

“It’s not about me, and it’s certainly not about him. I mean the People’s Vote campaign is five different organisations.

“He is non-executive chairman of one, I think the outgoing executive chairman of one.

“And he’s making a mistake that I think a lot of businessmen do when they dabble in politics, which is to think that because they had a certain title on a board that they then own the campaign.”

Presser further on whether Mr Rudd sacked him, Mr Baldwin said: “He technically controls my contract but he didn’t appoint me. He doesn’t pay me.”

Mr Baldwin said he planned to go into work on Monday morning.

Mr Rudd later told the programme: “Listen, there’s no row about where we stand. We all want another vote.”

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Asked if Mr Baldwin is still welcome within the campaign, Mr Rudd – the brother of former Tory cabinet minister Amber Rudd – said he has “an opportunity for a different type of role”.

Mr Rudd added: “I want to make clear, there’s no row about the remain side and PV. Everyone knows where we stand on this.”

Mr Baldwin said: “It doesn’t seem to be the best week to be putting a wrecking ball through the campaign, demoralising staff, and demoralising all the activists, the thousands and thousands of activists who paid for our campaign, the millions of people who support us out there in the country.”

He said the People’s Vote campaign “belongs to the people, not just one businessman”, adding: “It’s really not for him to tell the campaign what to do I’m afraid today, particularly in a week as crucial as this one.”

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