openDemocracyUK

A millionaire is planning to spend around £700,000 to target pro-Remain MPs at the election

A top donor to the Brexit cause is now planning to flood constituencies across the UK with his money

Sunny cropped.jpg
Sunny Hundal
15 May 2017
EUref.png

The EU Referendum. Flickr/Conway Hall. Some rights reserved

Jeremy Hosking donated over £1.5 million to the Leave cause during the EU referendum. Now he is turning his sights on pro-Remain MPs at the upcoming elections.

He says he is planning to spend around £700,000 to help target (Labour) MPs seen as sympathetic to the EU cause. The move is likely to fuel further concerns about how rich individuals are having a disproportionate impact on our democracy.

Hosking told the Observer over the weekend that he would target Tory candidates in 138 constituencies where most voters backed Brexit, but are represented by an MP who voted to Remain in the EU. He plans to donate around £5,000 per candidate, leaving him with a bill of up to £700,000 according to the Observer.

This move has broader consequences too. For a start it will strengthen the hand of Tory MPs who favour a 'Hard Brexit' stance against the EU.

As oD-UK reported last week, the Conservatives are facing a 'cash crunch' from traditional donors who mostly favoured to stay in the EU. As a result donors who favour a harder line against the EU are stepping up to the plate.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has had little to say on the impact of such donations on our democracy.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData