Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has reportedly stepped in to hold together the beleaguered anti-Brexit ‘People’s Vote’ campaign, which has been hit by several controversies including allegations of sexual harassment.
The arch-remainer and Iraq war architect is said to have intervened on Friday in order to ‘knock heads together’, and end the feud between the leading lights in the Blairite wing of the campaign. Top anti-Brexit figures including Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson, and Roland Rudd, the brother of Tory rebel Amber Rudd and People’s Vote chairman .
A source told from The Mail on Sunday that Blair had taken a combative rather than reconciliatory approach to the meeting, remarking that the former Labour leader had “broke some eggs rather than bread over lunch on Friday in an attempt to sort things out.”
Blair’s intervention lead to the ouster of People’s Vote acting chief executive Patrick Heneghan, over allegations of sexual harassment against female staffers, the report claimed.
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Heneghan had been installed in his position last month after Rudd sacked the campaign director James McGrory and the media director Tom Baldwin. The move sparked outrage within the ranks of the campaign, leading to 40 staff members calling for Roland Rudd to resign and a staged walkout of the campaign.
Amidst the turmoil of the so-called ‘boardroom coup’, allegations of sexual assault were levied by three female staff members against Mr Heneghan, reports The Guardian. The allegations stem from his conduct at a karaoke night in which female colleagues claim that he ‘propositioned’ them.
Heneghan is also accused of inappropriate conduct towards younger women, including one allegation that he had invited one woman back to his apartment to take cocaine.
Staff members had written to Rudd, saying they did not “feel safe returning to work”, as long as Heneghan was there.
Mr Henneghan has denied the claims, saying: “I totally deny these politically motivated allegations. I’ve already fully complied with an initial investigation and will now take a couple of weeks of leave to comply with another one.”
According to The Telegraph, the feud within the People’s Vote campaign is said to originate from Mr Rudd’s desire to shift the campaign to a more hardline pro-Remain stance, as opposed to trying to win over more ‘soft Leave voters’.
Even the anti-Brexit left-wing newspaper of choice The Guardian described the People’s Vote as having “imploded” in recent weeks amid bitter power struggles.
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