Photo via CIPR Newsroom
Theresa May is trying to hire the former head of the Leave campaign in an attempt to reorganise the Conservative Party following the general election in June.
On Thursday, the Times reported that the chief executive of Vote Leave during the European Union referendum campaign, Matthew Elliott, is holding discussions with the Tories about joining Conservative Headquarters in a senior role.
Elliott would most probably be brought in as a Tory vice-chairman, and the said appointment is perceived as an attempt to stop a repeat of the disastrous election campaign, in which the party lost its majority in the parliament.
The move would also reassure ministers that are supporting Leave, party activists, and MPs that the Conservatives were still the party of Brexit, after concerns that the United Kingdom was heading towards a “soft” Brexit deal.
The former Vote Leave chief executive is perceived to be a good pick by the Theresa May because of his organisation of the Brexit campaign during the referendum. Elliott was also the mastermind of the ‘No’ campaign in the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and helped found the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a low-tax pressure group.
He is currently a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, the pro-free trade think tank, and an editor-at-large for a pro-Leave media outlet, Brexit Central.
However, Elliott is unpopular among all Conservatives supporting Brexit, with a Tory source informing The Times: “If May thinks that appointing Elliott is going to make all the Brexit mob happy she’s in for a shock.”
There is a reported a split between Elliott and Dominic Cummings, the campaign director of Vote Leave, who is a close ally of Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary.