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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

George Soros contributes funds to Brexit Remain campaign

The billionaire hosted a dinner for the Best for Britain campaign at his London home

George Soros has funded the Best for Britain campaign to the tune of £400,000. Olivier Hoslet
George Soros has funded the Best for Britain campaign to the tune of £400,000. Olivier Hoslet

Billionaire investor George Soros has contributed £400,000 (Dh2 million) to a campaign which is aiming to overturn Britain’s exit from the European Union. The Telegraph newspaper revealed that Mr Soros, who came to notoriety in 1992 when he made hundreds of millions of pounds betting against the British currency, had hosted a dinner for remain-supporting Tories at his Chelsea home on Monday night.

“George Soros’s foundations have along with a number of other major donors also made significant contributions to our work,” Mark Malloch-Brown, a former British diplomat who is chair of the Best for Britain campaign group.

“Indeed, through his foundations he has contributed £400,000,” said Mr Malloch-Brown, who has previously worked in senior positions at the United Nations and Britain's foreign ministry.

According to The Telegraph story, which was co-authored by Nick Timothy, Prime Minister Theresa May’s former chief of staff, Best for Britain will launch an advertising campaign later this month that will press for a second vote on the decision to leave the Eurepean Union. The organisation is attempting to bring on board senior Tory donors, who they hope will put May under pressure to allow another referendum.

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A strategy document leaked to the newspaper showed that Best for Britain will also press Tory Members of Parliament to come out for the vote. The campaign should “wake the country up and assert that Brexit is not a done deal. That it’s not too late to stop Brexit”. It proposed holding a series of rallies modelled on left-wing group Momentum, which has successfully campaigned for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In 1992, Mr Soros became known as ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’, as he shorted the British pound while the government battled in vain not to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. In recent years, he has given billions of dollars to various pro-democracy and human rights foundations that he sponsors.

Over the last few years he has become a hate figure for the global alt-right and authoritarian governments in Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has use crude anti-Semitic language against him, and referred to “Soros troops” who were promoting “globalist” values, saying: “They act like Soviet agitprop agents once did. We old warhorses know them by their smell.”

Also attending the dinner at Mr Soros’s house was Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of the advertising firm WPP, who has continuously invoked against the decision to leave the EU.

Defending the Back for Britain group, Mr Malloch-Brown said: “We think the British people deserve a final say on the Brexit deal and believe the country has been led down a dangerous false turn. This is a democratic and patriotic effort to recover our future and we welcome support for our efforts from many quarters.”

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