No Campaign winds down activities as directors quit

UK anti-euro lobbying group the No Campaign has scaled down its operations amid the imminent departure of its two co-directors.

George Eustice and Janet Bush will both leave at the end of this year, as the coalition reduces its activities in the wake of the Government’s postponement in June of a decision on whether to hold a referendum on British membership of the euro.

Comms manager Matthew McGregor said the priority of the remaining team – which now consists of three full-time staff, nine fewer than in the weeks prior to the Government’s decision – was to ‘challenge the false perception that euro membership is inevitable’.

McGregor said a fresh drive was planned to ‘develop more support within the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats’, claiming that both parties were ‘out of touch with their voters on the euro’.

Former No Campaign manager James Frayne this week joined think-tank Reform in the newly created role of communications manager.

Former press officer Neil O’Brian, who left in July, is now campaign director at Vote 2004, a group lobbying the Government to hold a referendum on the proposed EU constitution.

Both Eustice and Bush will remain involved with organisations that are part of the No coalition, with the former remaining on the board of Business for Sterling and Bush remaining on the steering committee of New Europe.

Meanwhile, Lucy Powell last week assumed the role of acting campaign director at pro-euro group Britain in Europe (BiE).

Powell, the erstwhile head of field operations, takes the position on an interim basis following the resignation of campaign director Simon Buckby, which was accepted last week.

Powell said the number of staff at BiE’s HQ had fallen by five to ‘around 15’. In addition to Buckby, another senior exit has been head of media and research Jessica Bawden, who last month joined the National Housing Federation as head of comms.

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