BILLONAIRE George Soros was told to “stay out of British politics” last night after admitting to £700,000-worth of grants for pro-EU groups.
Furious Brexit backers rounded on the investor who “broke the Bank of England” after his aides owned up to funding a number of anti-Brexit groups in the hope of securing a second EU Referendum.
Some £400,000 has been given to the ‘Best for Britain’ organisation to fund a nationwide anti-Brexit campaign.
In a staggering outburst last night, his spokesman defended the grants and said Brexit threatened “clean air and food standards”.
Furious Lord Lamont, the Tory chancellor plunged into a recession by George Soros’ mammoth bet against the Pound 25 years ago, told him to “stick to finance”.
The Tory peer said: “It seems very perverse and odd for the Soros foundation, which exists to promote democracy, to seek to undermine democracy in this way.
“George Soros is a brilliant financier, but he should stick to finance and stay out of British politics.”
Tory Eurosceptic Iain Duncan Smith demanded Best for Britain hand back the £400,000. He told the Sun: “He’s not a British citizen and therefore can’t even vote. Therefore I expect by tomorrow all decency demands they hand the money back and say ‘No thank you’.”
Hungarian-born George Soros’ £400,000 grant to Best for Britain was revealed yesterday by the Daily Telegraph.
Amid rumours he’d actually donated nearly £1 million, his Open Society Foundation last night admitted to a further £303,000-worth of grants to other organisations.
Some £182,000 was given to the European Movement – a cross-party group “committed to keeping the UK in the EU”.
A further £35,000 has gone to Scientists for EU and £86,000 to Bright Blue, a Tory think tank whose chief backed ‘Remain’.
In a statement last night, George Soros’ Open Society insisted the cash was part of a “worldwide mission to build vibrant and tolerant democracies”.
Open Society President Patrick Gaspard added: “Human rights protections, hard-won civil and labour rights, safeguards on key issues such as clean air or food standards are at stake here for British citizens.”
Yesterday’s revelations by the Daily Telegraph saw co-author Nick Timothy – Theresa May’s former chief of staff – accused of using an anti-Semitic slur.
The article described Mr Soros – a Jew – of supporting a “secret plot” to thwart Brexit. Critics claim the phrase is a traditional attack line to describe Jewish political influence.
In recent years he has been targeted by nationalist parties in eastern Europe, many of them branded anti-Semitic.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Timothy blasted the claims yesterday. He said: “The accusations and insinuations against me are as absurd as they are offensive.”
The PM’s official spokesman said George Soros was “entirely within his rights” to donate to pro-EU groups. But he added:
“The Prime Minister’s position on this is clear: The country voted to leave the European Union, that’s what we’re going to deliver and there won’t be a second Referendum.”
Last night, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator accused Mr Timothy of spreading “far right Kremlim sponsored conspiracy theories” over his revelations about George Soros.
And he said the article would have delighted Hungary’s authoritarian PM Viktor Orban – who has repeatedly slammed Mr Soros for meddling in European nations.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “For decades, the UK has been a beacon and stalwart defender of liberal democratic principles within Europe and beyond and I hope this will continue.”
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