Billionaire financier George Soros has donated £400,000 to a pro-remain campaign group which aims to overthrow Brexit.
The investor is one of a trio of individuals linked to Best for Britain, which reportedly intends to launch a country-wide advertising campaign later this month, pushing for a second referendum which could stall the UK’s departure from the EU.
Citing a leaked strategy document, The Telegraph reported that Best for Britain intends to target MPs and push them to vote against a final deal on Brexit, triggering another referendum.
The campaign will aim to “wake the country up assert that Brexit is not a done deal. That it’s not too late to stop Brexit.” It will also feature a series of concerts and rallies, particularly geared towards young voters, according to the report.
The involvement of Mr Soros, who has an estimated net worth of $25.2bn making him the 29th richest person in the world according to Forbes, is understood to have emerged after he entertained six Conservative donors at his house in Chelsea. The financier is notorious for having reportedly pocketed $1bn when he bet against the pound in 1992, just before the UK pulled out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
The Telegraph reported that businessman Stephen Peel, a former Olympic rower, was also at the dinner and is understood to be backing the Best for Britain campaign, as were Best for Britain chairman and former Labour minister Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, and Sir Martin Sorrell of advertising giant WPP.
Mr Sorrell is understood to have made his donation of £400,000 to the group through his Open Society Foundation.
Lord Malloch Brown said in a statement that he welcomes “the support of our patrons, especially the thousands of people who have chipped in small amounts to support our work”.
“We have never hidden our agenda; we have been campaigning hard to win a meaningful vote on Brexit, which we did, and to keep all options on the table, including staying in the European Union,” he said.
“We, like [millions] of people, believe that Britain should lead, not leave Europe. We work with campaigners, businesses, unions, politicians and community groups to make sure everyone has a strong campaigning voice,” he added.
He confirmed that Mr Soros, through his foundation, had contributed £400,000.
“We think the British people deserve a final say on the Brexit deal and believe the country has been led down a dangerous false turn,” he said.
“This is a democratic and patriotic effort to recover our future and we welcome support for our efforts from many quarters. Indeed far from subverting democracy, we believe we speak for a democratic majority in a country now facing up to the consequences of a Brexit negotiation that has been captured by a handful of hardliners,” Lord Malloch Brown said.
Mr Soros is known for being a leading Democratic donor in the US.
Last month he launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump during a speech at the Wolrd Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He argued that the Trump administration constituted a grave danger to the world and the survival of our whole civilisation was at risk.