Written by Simon Usherwood.
The rules are clear. Only one group can lead the official campaign on either side of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. And while that isn’t proving a problem for the side that wants to stay in, the process of picking a leader for the exit camp is proving deeply political and highly fraught.
On the “remain in” side, the approach has been to have quiet, behind-the-scenes discussions. From these talks, a group will emerge to lead the campaign. One might argue that the general lack of mobilisation in the remain camp has made this easier, as there’s relatively little competition.
On the “leave” side, there are now two credible contenders to lead the campaign and the competition between them is tense. One is a group formerly known as The Know and now rebranded as Leave.eu.
The other is an as-yet-unnamed group led by Matthew Elliott, founder of campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, and Dominic Cummmings, a special adviser in the coalition government.