SIR Richard Branson faces a boycott of Virgin products and services as furious Leave voters react to the businessman’s plans to bankroll a plan to block Brexit.
A leaked email revealed the founder and president of the Virgin Group has already offered at least £25,000 to the anti-Brexit group but Sir Richard’s team insists no payment has been made.
The secret bid to block Brexit by Blairite former Cabinet ministers has been met with outrage as a range of major business and communications organisations step forward to back the group, with leading PR firm Freuds advising on the group’s marketing.
On Twitter David Jones said: “BOYCOTT VIRGIN- a total disgrace Richard Branson thinks he can use his money to overrule the democratic vote of the British people”.
@viesvies1 said: “Anyone with alternative service providers for broadband and tv feel free to list them. Boycott Virgin and Branson.”
The Brexit-block group has funding or more than £1 million in pledged donations, according to the report, and is backed by Blairite former ministers John Hutton and Douglas Alexander, and former Tory health secretary Stephen Dorrell.
Former deputy PM Nick Clegg, leading Labour Remain campaigner Chuka Umunna, and celebrities, such as Bob Geldof, are believed been in contact with the group, according to the report.
A memo written by ex-health secretary Alan Milburn, a key ally of former prime minister Tony Blair, says: “We have been beavering away over the last few months to get a Europe campaign up and running. I’m pleased to say that substantial progress has been made.
“I have met the Freuds team several times and we are making good progress. I have been in discussions with an excellent potential CEO to lead the campaign.
“Virgin … are keen to help. Since we last spoke [they] have offered a further £25k, plus bigger office space, help with legal advice and a possible secondment.
“I have held discussions with Stronger In, Chuka Umunna, a new organisation called Common Ground, Bob Geldof and a number of senior politicians across the party spectrum.”
The group will launch in the New Year and hopes to force a second referendum, according to the report.
A Virgin spokesman said: “Since the EU referendum, Virgin has not made any payments to any Brexit campaign or organisation.
“It is well known that Richard supported the Remain campaign before the referendum, and as a result people involved in all sides of the debate are interested in Virgin’s views on Brexit and its impact on business. Virgin is interested in engaging with different organisations to understand the impact Brexit will have on the UK.”