Eurosceptic MPs 'particularly unbalanced'
The former director of Vote Leave says certain MPs thought Boris Johnson shouldn't be encouraged to join the campaign.
Dominic Cummings, the man who masterminded Vote Leave's winning strategy, has described the MPs he worked with as "particularly unbalanced".
He made the comments in a new book on Brexit called How To Lose A Referendum, which I co-wrote with Paul Goldsmith.
Some of the MPs he describes as "completely deranged" and suggests that certain long-standing eurosceptics thought Boris Johnson shouldn't be encouraged to join the campaign.
Mr Cummings, who was campaign director for Vote Leave, has kept a low profile since the referendum result, but in this rare interview he says the eurosceptic movement attracted "a particularly unbalanced set of people".
He said: "The eurosceptic world is a very old world populated by very odd people. Generally, not always but generally, the longer they have been involved in it, the higher the probability that they will be odd.
"There's a sort of self-perpetuating cycle - the kind of people who are likely to take opinions against a long-running establishment tend to be quite contrary character. By definition, it is quite hard to coordinate their actions, and the cumulative effect psychologically of being called 'nutters' and excluded from things means they become more eccentric over time - that's my experience."
Mr Cummings claims there was a great deal of jealousy in his camp about who would get to appear in the big TV debates; certain MPs didn't even want Mr Johnson joining the campaign and stealing the limelight.
He believes the people who'd been the backbone of the eurosceptic movement for 20 years, such as Bill Cash, John Redwood and Bernard Jenkin, felt they were being sidelined and in January, just as Mr Cummings was close to lining up Michael Gove and Mr Johnson to join Vote Leave, those MPs launched a coup to get rid of him.
Mr Cummings says: "Some of them were completely deranged: Bernard, for example, hated the idea of Boris coming on board and said repeatedly in Vote Leave board meetings, 'Dominic is wrong to be going off on the secret meetings to meet Boris Johnson, he will be nothing but a negative to the campaign.'
"That's the degree of craziness we were having to deal with. I'd say: 'Who should be on? John Redwood, right? So you really think we're going to win this campaign by excluding the most popular politician in Britain, and putting John Redwood on TV more? Sorry, we're going to do things differently."
He believes the selection processes and the incentive structures within parties mean that the wrong kind of people are attracted to becoming MPs, who "to a large extent are not particularly bright, are egomaniacs and they want to be on TV."
Mr Cummings carried on campaign director for the remainder of the campaign and was credited with its main slogan "Take back control".
June 25, 2017
Sources:` Sky News
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