Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, has today confirmed that his government will use tax payer funded resources to campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union – creating a clear advantage for the “In” campaign at Britain’s upcoming referendum.
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr. Cameron replied to a question by Nadine Dorries MP, who asked: “According to the Guido Fawkes website today there is a letter appearing in tomorrow’s Times [newspaper] written by a ‘Chris Hopkins’ on behalf of organisations across the UK supposedly wishing for us to remain [in the European Union].
“Chris Hopkins is apparently a civil servant,” she said, adding: “Could the Prime Minister tell us: who is Chris Hopkins? Which department does he work for? And what authority does he have as a civil servant to campaign for the remain lobby?”
Mr. Cameron replied tersely: “I can answer very simply. He’s a civil servant, working in Number 10, and his authority comes from me,” before adding: “this is not a free for all. The government has a clear view. The government’s view is that we should remain in a reformed European Union and the civil service is able to support the government in that role.
He concluded: “The government is not holding back and hanging back from this, we have a full throated view that we should put forward in front of the British people so that they can make their choice”.
The news comes despite eight government cabinet ministers campaigning for the ‘leave’ side of the debate.
Earlier today Guido Fawkes reported that Downing Street business adviser Chris Hopkins was soliciting support for “Dave’s deal” in a letter due to appear in tomorrow’s Times.
The letter reads:
We run businesses representing every sector and region of the United Kingdom. Together we employ hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
Following the Prime Minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union. He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.
Businesses like ours need unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk.
We believe Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union.
Give me a call if you have any issues.
The letter was sent around on Sunday, after the rules limiting what Leave campaign-affiliated ministers are allowed to do with public resources.
The idea that British tax payer money could be used to propagandise at British tax payers is one that will no doubt cause consternation amongst leave campaigners.