The Referendum Party has strengthened its general election media machine
with the recruitment of ex-Number 10 Downing Street press officer Ian
Beaumont, 38, joins the party - launched by billionaire Sir James
Goldsmith to force a referendum on European Union membership - as chief
press officer, after two years as a Metropolitan Police press officer.
Before joining the Met, he spent seven and a half years at Number 10.
Beaumont said that he would be ‘aiming to get the party’s message across
and to counterbalance the disinformation and propaganda the British
people are being given on Europe’.
He succeeds Michael Gunton who becomes regional press consultant and
head of the party’s planned ten-strong team of regional press officers,
nine of which have been appointed.
Gunton, 69, who spent a decade as chief industrial correspondent at the
Central Office of Information and three years as head of news and
parliamentary liaison at Conservative Party Central Office, vacated the
post of chief press officer after just six months due to a recent heart
The development of the press team is the Referendum Party’s latest step
to becoming a significant general election force. Buoyed up by a
campaign fund of pounds 20 million, the party is likely to field scores
of candidates at the next election and is seen as a threat to various
key Tory marginals.