Ukip activists have been told not to display anything bearing the party’s logo while campaigning in the EU referendum, the Huff Post UK can reveal.
In an email sent out to branch chairmen across the West Midlands ahead of an “action day”, activists are specifically instructed that “no UKIP logo's, literature, rossettes [sic] must be visible on the day.”
The advice seems to vindicate former party deputy chairman Suzanne Evans, who at the weekend pointed to research which claimed mentioning Nigel Farage or Ukip could deter floating voters from backing the Leave campaign.
She cited a British Future study released last year which claimed Mr Farage was one of the two most untrusted voices on the EU issue - along with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Ukip leader later said he “couldn’t care less” about the comments – which were made at a fringe meeting at the party’s Spring conference in North Wales.
But an email seen by the Huff Post UK seems to endorse Ms Evans’s advice.
Sent by Andrew Illsley, Ukip’s Regional Organiser in the West Midlands, to branch chairmen in the region, the email discusses equipment being sent by Leave.EU for street stall campaigning.
The email reads: “Chairmen:
• Do not forget to contact other non UKIP like local councillors/ conservative associations to join us.
• No UKIP logo's, literature, rossettes must be visible on the day. In addition to table packs you will also have sufficient GO referendum leaflets to hand out.
• GO Liability Insurance Certificate is attached for you to down load.
• It was mentioned at conference that you will need some weights to stabilise the pull up banner. A couple of small bags of sand are recommended.
• Have a great days campaigning and please interface with other non UKIP OUTERS -WE ARE ALL WORKING FOR THE SAME RESULT!!
• Shrewsbury & North Shropshire branches please collect you packs from Jill's office by miday Friday latest.
• Staffs branches - Garry from NUL will pick up on Thursday morning.
• Don't forget to take pictures for social media & your branch websites.
“This is the first of a number of GO action days - there may be a few hiccups which we can both learn from for the forthcoming events.”
As well as supporting Ms Evans’s claim about keeping the Ukip brand away from campaigning, the email again highlights the close relationship between Leave.EU and Grassroots Out (GO).
Both organisations have received funding from Ukip donor Arron Banks, and Ukip initially backed Leave.EU for designation as the official leave campaign before switching to GO.
James McGrory, spokesman for the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, said: “It’s little wonder Grassroots Out are embarrassed by their association with UKIP – their leader has been described as toxic to voters by his own former deputy.
"But hiding the rosettes and logos can’t hide the fact that Nigel Farage is the face of their campaign.
"A cheap rebranding exercise cannot cover up the weakness of UKIP’s argument and the bankruptcy of their ideas.
"If we follow UKIP’s call and take a leap into the dark, the jobs, low prices, and cheap holidays provided by our place in Europe will be put at risk. Our campaign has nothing to hide – we will continue to make a positive and patriotic case that Britain is stronger in Europe.”