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Chuka Umunna launches watchdog to ensure Brexit delivers on its promises

Published 08/07/2016

The Vote Leave campaign bus, which pledged to fund the NHS with 350 million pounds a week saved from the EU
The Vote Leave campaign bus, which pledged to fund the NHS with 350 million pounds a week saved from the EU

A new pro-Europe "watchdog" aimed at keeping Leave campaigners to their Brexit promises has been launched by Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

The prominent Remain campaigner has joined forces with a cross party group of like-minded MPs and others to try and put pressure on the withdrawal side to come good on their referendum pledges.

The VoteLeaveWatch push is backed by TV host June Sarpong, Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed, and Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb, and aims to expose the "overblown promises and myths" of the pro-Brexit campaign.

Mr Umunna insisted the campaign was aimed at informing both sides in the bitter referendum battle.

"Now that we have voted to leave the European Union, they think you are going to forget those promises and those pledges that were made. We are determined to ensure their promises are scrutinised and they are held to account for all the pledges that were made," the MP said.

Mr Umunna claimed the watchdog would be of equal value "whether you are the 48%, bitterly disappointed at the result, which, of course, we have to accept, or you're the 52% who voted for us to leave, who want to know that the promises made to you are delivered on. For example the promise that there would be £350 million extra every week going to our NHS."

Outgoing Ukip leader Nigel Farage distanced himself from the pledge to pump an extra £350 million a week into the NHS after the surprise Brexit win, and other leading leave campaigners have back-tracked on pledges regarding immigration.

Mr Umunna, an outspoken critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, said the campaign was the type of thing Labour should be doing in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

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