Eurosceptic MPs slam government's £9.3m EU referendum "propaganda" leaflet

William Turvill
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The government spent £9.3m sending out leaflets to make the case for remaining inside the EU (Source: Getty)

Eurosceptic MPs have slammed the government's decision to send leaflets to UK households to promote EU membership.

A debate over the £9.3m leaflets was prompted after more than 200,000 signatures were added to an online petition called: “STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets.”

The debate lasted three hours and heard evidence from Eurosceptics including Tory Paul Scully, who led the debate, and Labour's Kate Hoey.

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“I'm not sure it's helping the government's case," said Scully. "Because the contents of the leaflet are likely long going to be since forgotten by the start of the purdah period... but actually the £9.3m price tag will still resonate with voters.”

Hoey told the Westminster Hall debate she “felt very angry when this came out”, but added: “When it comes down to it I have great confidence in the common sense of the British public and I think they will have already seen through this leaflet for what it is... propaganda.”

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The leaflets have also previously been condemned by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said last month: "This is a disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' money.

"When cash is scarce and budgets are tight, politicians should not be wasting nearly £10m of our cash on political propaganda.

"The country is having an important debate about its relationship with the EU and it is essential that it is held on a level playing field.”

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