Vote Leave accuse Damian Collins of spreading ‘false news, conspiracy theories, and further bias’

Vote Leave accuse Damian Collins of spreading ‘false news, conspiracy theories, and further bias’

Vote Leave has accused the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s ‘fake news inquiry’ of spreading its own fake news. 

In a letter sent to the chairman Damian Collins, a Vote Leave Director Daniel Hodson said it was “disappointing” to read statements published in an interim report “which falls into three of [the] Committee’s own definitions of ‘fake news’: manipulated content, misleading content and false context of connection.”

Damian Collins, who campaigned for Remain, has been investigating the roll of fake news in the referendum campaign with the DCMS Committee.

But Vote Leave has accused him of making a number of false claims that were refuted by the Committee’s own published dossier, including the idea that Vote Leave and BeLeave campaign groups shared data:

“The truth is simple and was clearly available to you from your own records: BeLeave and Vote Leave did NOT use the same audience datasets for their campaigns.

“However the ramifications of this spreading of a false allegation, clearly fake news according to your own definitions, have been enormous.

“Over and again, from the BBC through to major newspapers through to swarms on Twitter, the allegation has been that BeLeave and Vote Leave “used” the same data.”

He also hit back at the Committee’s description of adverts produced by BeLeave as “BeLeave/BrexitCentral”, despite the fact that BrexitCentral did not exist in any form until months after the referendum. A fact that even the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr has admitted she got wrong.

Mr Hodson went on to attack the Committee for refusing to investigate allegations of collusion among remain campaigners.

Conservative MP Priti Patel had previously submitted a dossier to the Electoral Commission, in which she accused several Remain groups of working to a “common plan in breach of electoral rules” which “goes a long way further than claims made against Vote Leave, of which the Electoral Commission is currently investigating.”

Hodson has also called on Collins to ensure that the DCMS Committee’s final report corrects the Committee’s various errors and false statements.