Staff from the People’s Vote Campaign are engaged in a stand-off with Roland Rudd, the campaign’s chair, after yesterday’s controversial sacking of two of the campaign’s most senior figures.
After weeks of quiet tensions in the campaign, yesterday saw a staff walk-out after Rudd fired James McGrory and Tom Baldwin (formerly chiefs-of-staff to Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband respectively) from their respective posts as campaign director and head of communications.
A meeting was due to take place this morning between the disgruntled staff and Rudd at the campaign’s headquarters. But Rudd instead went to a nearby hotel, accompanied by security guards, and invited the 40-strong team to meet him there instead, reportedly with the promise of “nice coffee”.
Many of the staff were not best pleased, with one telling the New Statesman: “It’s ridiculous. These people are supposed to be leading the campaign and they’re too scared to come and meet staff in their own office.”
They added: “We don’t see why we should come to him. Aside from the fact that the meeting yesterday was supposed to be here, and that it’s easier for two people (plus the muscle) to move rather than 40, it shows a total lack of respect for staff again.”
A meeting was scheduled yesterday between Rudd and staff, but was postponed after Rudd instead gave a television interview about the internal disputes, prompting the walk-out.