SNP MPs get boost from Gina Miller fund to stop hard Brexit

Gina Miller's campaign will support candidates across the UK opposed to a hard Brexit. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Gina Miller's campaign will support candidates across the UK opposed to a hard Brexit. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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The campaigner who took the UK government to the Supreme Court over Brexit will spend tens of thousands of pounds to protect SNP MPs from a Tory surge.

Gina Miller, whose case forced Theresa May to hold a Commons vote before triggering Article 50, is leading an effort to identify and support candidates opposed to a hard Brexit.

In Scotland, SNP MPs threatened by a Tory revival could see significant financial support and additional campaigning manpower. Voters will also be targeted with nationwide education drive to help them vote tactically and stop MPs who support the government’s Brexit strategy being elected.

In a scathing assessment of Labour’s stance since the EU referendum result, Mrs Miller said the SNP had stepped in as the main source of parliamentary opposition to Brexit.

She said: “Ordinary citizens, the SNP, Lib Dems and Greens – they’re coming together. The problem is that we’re all too small on our own.”

Mrs Miller added: “There is no opposition. Our country is sleepwalking into a disaster, with no-one holding it to account. I just can’t let that happen. How do I justify that to my children, my grandchildren, to myself?”

In total, as much as £55,400 could be spent in Scotland by Mrs Miller’s Best for Britain campaign. As a non-party campaign group, it can spend up to £9,750 backing a specific candidate, which represents a significant proportion of what candidates and their parties are permitted to spend.

A crowd-funding appeal by Mrs Miller raised almost £300,000 for Best for Britain, with the group able to spend up to £390,000 across the UK on candidates opposed to a hard Brexit. Donors include Richard Branson.

Mrs Miller said the campaign would reveal 20-30 seats across the UK where it will play a direct role next week, with at least one Scottish constituency set to appear on that list.

Despite receiving death threats and requiring protection following her legal action against the government, Mrs Miller said she had a responsibility to get involved in the election campaign.

“The result could be landslide where Theresa May has a mandate for five years and says, ‘Don’t question anything I do’,” she said.

“I now have a platform. What do I do with it? Do I walk away, or do I embrace the place I’m in?

“A lot of thought went into it. The more the dire the demise of the opposition becomes, I just feel somebody’s got to do it.”