Daren Grimes, a 23 year old student at the University of Brighton, was given almost three quarters of a million pounds for his Brexit campaign BeLeave.
The Electoral Commission records found that the fashion student became one of the best-funded unofficial campaigners of the whole EU referendum.
Grimes spent the money on his social media campaign, which was set up to get young people voting leave, rather than students’ popularly trending choice to remain.
With over 6,000 likes, BeLeave’s Facebook page shared a post on voting day stating that “The evidence is clear: the EU is a political union of bureaucrats who only want more power and more wealth. They do not care about working people and they do not care about people like us”.
Just days after the referendum, students reported that they would change their Leave vote if they could. It seems that Grimes’ campaign may have worked its magic on some and convinced a few unsure voters to say Leave.
A Vote Leave source told The Times “He may be young but there was no point giving money to old people to run a campaign persuading young people to vote for Brexit.”
Rather than focusing on the Brexit, however, this actually shows how far politicians are going, in order to give students a voice. Boris Johnson may have been a laughable candidate in running for Prime Minister, but at least his side considers students and values them enough to give a shockingly large amount of money to.
The fact that the Remain campaign didn’t include students is simply terrifying. Ebbi Ferguson, National Union of Students Wales told the Independent “this can’t happen again, the next time there’s an opportunity to shape the future of our country, all young people must be at the heart of it.”
By Holly Smith