The Mail on Sunday has splashed an extraordinary story across its front page today, alleging that Nazi sympathisers have “infiltrated” the Vote Leave campaign to lead Britain out of the European Union (EU). The story has its genesis on a foreign-funded, pro-EU blog.
But the article, written by Simon Walters, comes on the same day as the paper runs an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister David Cameron, whose press operation is known for making big demands in exchange for the PM’s time. The interview with the Prime Minister was also conducted by Mr. Walters.
And the Mail also has form in setting up “infiltrations” for stories. In 2015, the paper is believed to have set up a number of members of the National Front to attend a Nigel Farage rally in South Thanet. A photographer claiming to be from the newspaper was conveniently pitched outside the venue with a long-lens camera aimed at the bar area.
While the Mail denied the sting operation at the time, the new story about Nazis inside Vote Leave stems from a blog post by ‘Hope not Hate’, a pro-EU, hard-left, foreign-funded activist group which has targeted Nigel Farage, Europscetics, and moderate Muslims since its raison d’etre – the British National Party – collapsed.
Hope Not Hate posted about Eva Van Housen – a Swastika-tattooed leave volunteer – on May 23rd. They wrote:
Handing out leaflets were none other than Mark Collett and Eva Van Housen. You may recall earlier this year we wondered what had happened to Collett since falling out of grace with the British National Party (BNP). It did not appear that he had in any way changed his views or the sort of company he used to like to keep.
Thankfully Eva covered up her large swastika for their day’s campaigning in Leeds but there are certainly issues with some of the others on the stall that day as well.
The Mail’s story, despite being five times longer than Hope Not Hate’s blog, adds little to the substance besides quotes from outraged Labour Party sources, and the fact that Vote Leave insisted that the infiltrators stopped campaigning for them over a week ago.
Having the front page of a national newspaper dedicate to less than a handful of activists in amongst thousands around the country seems suspect.
While Eva Van Housen and her former BNP buddies appear to be real and caught leafleting for Vote Leave, the questions will now be raised: Will the Mail on Sunday splash across its front page the fact that its story came via a foreign-funded, hard-left group with EU connections?
And will the Mail feature articles from the Communist-sympathisers at the heart of the ‘Remain’ campaign, beginning with its director, Will Straw, whose father was a leading member of the ‘Peace Pledge Union‘ which encouraged the appeasement of Nazi Germany?