Two of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs have spoken out against an attempt to enlist 250 business leaders to back the campaign to leave Europe after their names were added to the list without their consent.
Carphone Warehouse co-founder, David Ross, and Phones 4u co-founder John Caudwell were included on the Vote Leave campaign's list however neither is understood to have indicate their desire to have their names added.
A spokesman for Carphone Warehouse told the Sunday Times: “Mr Ross has not made any commitment at all. We have no idea where this has come from. Mr Ross will make a decision one way or the other when he gets back from his Easter break in a couple of weeks.”
A spokesman for John Caudwell said he “did not put his name on the list” either, even though he has previously supported the case for Brexit.
“You have to question how this list has been compiled,” the spokesman said.
The Vote Leave group is campaigning for an exit vote in the referendum on EU membership on 23 June.
Emma Reynolds, a Labour MP backing Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “The ‘leave’ campaigns are so desperate to pretend they enjoy any business support that they are making it up as they go along.”
Chairman of Conservatives In, Nick Herbert, was also quick to condemn the movement's failings. He said: "Less than 24 hours after its launch, the Vote Leave business letter is falling apart. Some of those named on the letter say they never signed it, many are not business ‘leaders’ at all — there isn’t a single FTSE 100 [chief executive] among them — and others have publicly admitted Brexit would cause severe damage to Britain’s economy.
“That’s why surveys show eight out of 10 businesses — and more than 80 per cent of small firms — want to remain in the EU.”