The Tory Party chairman has been urged to explain why Brexit minister Suella Braverman remains listed as a supporter of a campaign group that branded Theresa May’s Chequers plan a “massive fraud”.
Braverman is one of two women named as official backers of Leave Means Leave – the hard Brexit campaign group supported by Nigel Farage.
Yesterday the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU) said her inclusion was an “administrative oversight”, but this morning the Brexiteer remains on the organisation’s website.
In a letter to chairman Brandon Lewis, the pro-Remain campaign group, Best for Britain, demanded to know if Braverman would distance herself from Leave Means Leave.
“DExEU said last night Suella Braverman’s inclusion on the Leave Means Leave website is an ‘administrative oversight’ which will be ‘rectified’. But as of this morning she is still listed as a supporter of the Nigel Farage backed Leave means Leave group,” the group’s CEO, Eloise Todd, said.
“Obviously administrative errors happen but this was pointed out a day ago and she remains a listed supporter.
“This group claims Chequers is a ‘massive fraud,’ ‘totally unacceptable,’ and ‘a sell-out’.”
Todd added: “I understand you have limited control over an outside group, even though many of the MPs involved are senior Conservative MPs, but you have control of the party and you should urge Suella to disassociate herself from Leave means Leave urgently.”
A DExEU spokesperson said: “The Minister has been clear in her full commitment to the Government’s Brexit plans, including the Chequers White Paper.
“Her listed support for the group is an administrative oversight, which will now be rectified.
“She has no active involvement in the Leave Means Leave campaign.”
Leave means Leave, run by businessmen Richard Tice and John Longworth, is planning to step up its campaign against Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
Under the prime minister’s current proposals, the UK and EU would have a free trade area for goods and establish a “common rulebook” for goods.
The government also wants to create a “combined customs territory” between the UK and EU in order to avoid a hard border with Ireland.
May’s plan has been seen as giving too much away to the EU by many Tory MPs, and led to both David Davis and Boris Johnson resigning from the government.
Tice and Longworth have recruited Farage to join them on a battle bus tour across the country to try and turn people against the prime minister’s proposed deal.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is due to meet with the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, later today to re-start talks.