Wednesday 15 November 2017
Recently Nigel Farage MEP exposed George Soros’ extensive political activities and his links with officials in the European Parliament. He pointed to the $18bn given by Mr Soros to his political foundations, and highlighted the fact that the Open Society Foundation boasts that 226 members of the European Parliament are “reliable friends”.
The Open Society Foundation currently lists 20 elected representatives from the United Kingdom in the European parliament as “reliable allies” or “potential allies” of their foundation. Among the list is Martina Anderson, “arrested twice and convicted for causing an explosion, and planning to cause explosions”, along with major critics of Brexit including Seb Dance, Richard Howitt, and Molly Scott Cato.
The Open Society Foundation has been involved with campaigning within the UK through an enormous grant awarded to the activist group HOPE not hate under the auspices of the “Open Society Fund to Counter Xenophobia”. The grant was awarded for a project called the “HOPE Camp” which aimed to “provide a community organizers training program for local anti-hate organizations, especially those wishing to engage in the 2014 European elections”.
The Open Society Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for Europe have donated more than £100,000 to the OpenDemocracy group – whose blog post about the funding of the Leave.EU campaign sparked an insubstantial hit piece from BBC Newsnight and a further investigation by the Electoral Commission.
This Soros-funded campaign appeared to be carefully orchestrated with Ben Bradshaw MP, who responded with alarming speed to OpenDemocracy’s half-baked report and was ready to ask a question in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions mere hours after the Electoral Commission announced its second investigation. The close timing of these reports and interventions opens the possibility of “collusion” between Mr Bradshaw, Soros-funded OpenDemocracy, Newsnight, and the supposedly impartial Electoral Commission that ought to be investigated as a matter of urgency.
Furthermore, Ben Bradshaw MP received goods and services worth £270 from a “donor partner” of the Open Society Institute, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, for what he described as a “fact-finding visit to the German parliament”. “The cost of flights were met by a non-registrable source”…
Chris Bryant MP was given £2,000 towards his election expenses by Best for Britain – a campaign group formed by Gina Miller which counts among its directors Anatole Kaletsky, Stephen Peel, and Eloise Todd.
Mr Kaletsky is a member of the Open Society Global Board. Mr Peel sits on the board of Global Witness, funded in part by The Alexander Soros Foundation and The Foundation to Promote Open Society, and represents the Progressive Policy Think Tank, which received tens of thousands from the Open Society Foundation. Ms Todd is the Global Policy Director of One Government Partnership – an initiative that has received $1.8m from the Open Society Foundation to date.
The activities of this Soros-linked operation aroused suspicion from the start. It is well documented that Miller exploited a legal loophole when raising cash for the campaign, capping individual donations at £499 to provide anonymity to donors. Among the known backers was Italian national Anna Feritti, and foreign nationals with no right to participate in British elections may well have formed a significant bulk of the anonymous donations. We are not aware of any Electoral Commission investigation into the source of the hundreds of thousands of pounds that she managed to raise despite alarm bells being rung – loudly – at the time.
In addition to Bryant, who received funds despite not being listed among their officially endorsed “Champions” (his Rhonda constituency is not a marginal), at least 21 other MPs who were elected in 2017 received support from the Soros-linked, anonymously-funded Best for Britain campaign. Incumbent candidates Ruth Cadbury, Madeleine Moon, Tulip Siddiq, Fabian Hamilton, Clive Lewis, Chuka Umunna, and Karen Buck did not declare any donations from Best for Britain or UK-EU Open Policy Limited, according to data from the Register of Members’ Interests compiled on theyworkforyou.com.
Kevin Brennan, Gareth Thomas, Tom Brake, Caroline Lucas, and Peter Kyle each received donations of £2,000 from Best for Britain, while Kerry McCarthy, Rupa Huq, Andrew Slaughter, and Jo Stevens listed donations from UK-EU Open Policy Limited worth £2,000 each.
David Lammy did not declare a donation from Best for Britain or UK-EU Open Policy Limited despite being a “Champion”, but he has recorded £2,713.25 worth of flights, accommodation, and hospitality for a trip to Washington DC paid for by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
Paddy Ashdown, now a member of the House of Lords, enjoyed three “fact-finding trips” at the expense of the Open Society Institute in 2000 and 2001. He went on to found More United, which gave contributions to several of the “Champions” identified by Best for Britain.
A member of Clive Lewis’ staff, George Woodhams, reports the Open Society Foundation on the Register of Interests Of Members’ Secretaries And Research Assistants.
In 2011, Gordon Brown reported nearly £500 in airfare paid for by the Soros-funded Institute of New Economic Thinking.
Lord Turner of Ecchinswell lists his chairmanship of the Soros-funded Institute for New Economic Thinking among his “remunerated employment, office, profession”.
Open Society Foundations have also given more than a quarter of a million euros in the last year to the European Council on Foreign Relations, which lists among its Council members Chuka Umunna (who was supported by Best for Britain), Minister Rory Stewart, Emma Reynolds, Minister Jo Johnson, and the First Secretary of State (and defacto Deputy Prime Minister of the UK) Damian Green.
The global influence of George Soros has been a matter of international concern for years. The Hungarian government recently fought back against his attempts to influence their domestic politics, and Israel supported their criticisms as “entirely legitimate”. It’s now time for the Electoral Commission, and the ten publicly unaccaountable Commissioners who comprise it, to put aside their flagrant pro-EU bias and investigate the web of influence spun by billionaire George Soros.