Staff at the People’s Vote campaign for another EU referendum have been engaged in a public stand-off with the group’s chairman, Roland Rudd.
Mr Rudd was due to meet staff members at the campaign’s Millbank Tower office at 10:00 GMT to discuss the public row over his attempt to dismiss the campaign’s director and head of communications.
However, the official People’s Vote Twitter account has now said that Mr Rudd is refusing to meet them in their office and is instead trying to move the meeting to a hotel, while staff insist on staying in the office.
The public infighting follows Mr Rudd’s email to staff on Sunday evening announcing that James McGrory, the campaign director, and Tom Baldwin, the head of communications, had been dismissed.
People’s Vote is a coalition of groups which campaign for another EU referendum.
The People’s Vote twitter account sent out a picture of staff waiting to be addressed by Mr Rudd in their offices.
The account then later said that Mr Rudd had demanded the meeting take place at a hotel.
“It [the meeting] was supposed to start at 10am. But minutes before Roland Rudd demanded it be held in the Hilton, where he is currently ensconced with security guards.
“We will continue to wait in our place of work for the opportunity to ask the questions we want to ask,” the account said.
Alastair Campbell, the former head of communications for the prime minister under Tony Blair and a prominent supporter of the campaign, then responded to the tweet.
He labelled Mr Rudd “a disgrace to the cause”.
The stand-off follows a letter sent by staff on Monday night harshly criticising Mr Rudd.
Forty staff staff members told Mr Rudd that it was “utterly absurd” that he had “started an argument” about how the campaign is run.
In the letter, staff said that Mr Rudd’s actions in recent weeks were “extremely disappointing and deeply counter-productive”.
Staff also expressed “full and continuing support” for Mr McGrory and Mr Baldwin, saying that they were “crucial” to the success of the campaign.
They wrote in the letter to Mr Rudd: “We do not want a public argument, we simply want to get back to work, delivering the People’s Vote that our country so desperately needs.
“Your actions have meant that we have been unable to do that, at this critical juncture for the campaign and the country.”
Following the backlash to his decision to try and dismiss Mr McGrory and Mr Baldwin, Mr Rudd denied on Monday that there was any row.
Asked if Mr Baldwin is still welcome within the campaign, Mr Rudd – the brother of former Tory cabinet minister Amber Rudd – said he has “an opportunity for a different type of role”.
Mr Rudd told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I want to make clear, there’s no row about the remain side and PV. Everyone knows where we stand on this.”