Commenting on the launch of ‘Change Britain’, in which leading figures from the Vote Leave campaign appear to have dropped their fabled commitment to extra money for the NHS following a Leave vote, cross-party MPs, on behalf of the Open Britain campaign, call for leading figures in Change Britain to apologise for the misleading claim in the referendum.
In an open letter, Labour MPs write:
“Those who voted Leave, many of whom are in our constituencies, did so for a number of reasons. One was the promise that EU membership cost £350m a week and that this money should go to the NHS. This was the most prominent spending pledge of the Leave campaign - spelled out on their campaign bus so no one should be in any doubt - and constantly repeated.
“The Prime Minister has said Brexit means Brexit but doesn't know what it means. All we know is that the Government has said this money isn't coming. We warned this was a lie - and so it turns out to be.
“But there should be no escaping this pledge for the Leave campaign - they cannot walk away from it now, disown it or pretend it never happened. They must either admit it was a lie and apologise to their voters, or justify it and explain when it is coming.
“On behalf of the communities we represent, we will keep asking, where is the £350m for the NHS that was promised by the Leave campaign? Many will have voted to Leave based on this pledge. Those who made the pledge must now be held to account for the promise they made.”
Signed by the following MPs: Phil Wilson, Pat McFadden, Chris Leslie, Liz Kendall, Tom Blenkinsop, John Woodcock, Ian Austen, Bridget Phillipson, Ben Bradshaw, Jenny Chapman, Julie Elliott, Alison McGovern, Anna Turley, Catherine McKinnell, Angela Smith, Vernon Coaker, David Hanson, Emma Reynolds, Mary Creagh, Chuka Umunna, Nick Smith, Stephen Doughty.
Anna Soubry MP, the former Conservative Cabinet Minister and leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, added:
“They should all hang their heads in shame.
“There were many people, particularly in less wealthy areas, who were convinced by Leave’s claim that if we left the EU we would be able to pour millions more into the NHS.
“The danger now is these people will become even more disillusioned with all politicians because this lot misled them.”