LONDON: A German-born lawmaker is taking over as head of one of the main campaigns pressing for Britain to leave the European Union, the group announced Sunday.
Gisela Stuart, an MP with the main opposition Labour Party, will take over from 1980s finance minister Nigel Lawson as the chair of Vote Leave.
Meanwhile influential London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, both from the governing Conservative Party, will take up key strategic roles with the group.
Voters will be asked in a June 23 referendum whether they want Britain to remain a member of the EU or leave the 28-country bloc.
“I’m delighted to be leading the campaign to take back control from the EU,” said Stuart, who moved to Britain in 1974, the year after it joined the European Economic Community.
“If we Vote Leave we will be able to spend our money on our priorities like the National Health Service.
“We will be able to once again vote for — and kick out — the people who make our laws. If we take back control we will be safer as a country.”
Johnson and Gove, who disagree with Conservative Party leader Prime Minister David Cameron over whether Britain should stay in the EU, will be part of a senior Vote Leave group that will meet daily.
Meanwhile, John Longworth, who quit as head of the British Chambers of Commerce business group after he backed Britain pulling out of the EU — the BCC is officially neutral on the issue — will sit on the campaign committee.
The movement’s chief executive Matthew Elliott said: “I am delighted that Vote Leave will be led by such a strong and experienced group of campaigners, business leaders and political heavyweights for the final hundred days of the campaign.”
Opinion polls indicate that the race is finely balanced. “Remain” is on 51 percent and “Leave” on 49 percent, according to a poll of polls by the What UK Thinks research project.