The sacked head of communications for the People’s Vote campaign has said he will still go into work today, despite being asked to leave his position.
Tom Baldwin was sacked last night along with People’s Vote director James McGory in an escalation of an ongoing power struggle within the campaign.
Labour’s former chief election strategist Patrick Heneghan has been appointed interim chief executive.
The moves were enforced by People’s Vote powerbroker, and Open Britain chairman, Roland Rudd who cited “ongoing internal issues in the campaign” as a reason for the move.
People’s Vote is made up of five different organisations, however it is Rudd’s Open Britain that controls staff contracts.
Baldwin told the BBC this morning it was not within Rudd’s remit to fire him.
“Roland Rudd told me not to go into work, but I don’t work for Roland Rudd,” he said.
“I’m planning to go into work, but it doesn’t seem to be the best week to put a wrecking ball through the campaign.
“The campaign is not a legal entity, it is five different organisations…it belongs to the people, not one businessman who has hardly been seen.”
The news comes just a week after it was revealed Rudd had been the target of an attempted coup by prominent New Labour figures Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson.
The pair swapped emails, released by the Mail on Sunday, discussing the need to push Rudd out of the leadership structure of the campaign.
In one email Mandelson wrote: “I agree we need to pin down Roland’s slipperiness. To counter what he said … will require trawling through and possible exposure of private email chains. Who is going to do that?’
In another, Campbell wrote: “I do not see how this gets done without a public battle and it should happen soon and be fast and brutal.”
Rudd appeared on the BBC this morning and denied their was an ongoing row within the campaign.
He said the move was made to have a more centralised leadership structure.
Rudd said: “What I’ve done, sorry not what I’ve done, but what what (sic) the board of Open Britain want is one person, Patrick Heneghan, to be in charge.
“[Baldwin] has a opportunity for a different type of role which is allowing one person to take the reins up and lead this thing.”
Campbell took to Twitter last night to attack Rudd for the sacking of McGory and Baldwin, saying “he did not have the right to do so”.
He said: “Rudd has been engaged close to full time in boardroom politics, a board which with few exceptions has done little for the campaign.
“Rudd has won that particular battle, but has done little to help the bigger battle for a People’s Vote.”
Rudd made his name as a public relations tycoon, after he sold his firm RLM Finsbury for £40m in 2001.
He is the brother of former Conservative cabinet member Amber Rudd.