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One student was given £625K for social media Vote Leave campaign

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 3, 2016 | 2 min read

The Electoral Commission has revealed that a fashion student was given £625,000 to influence young people to vote leave through social media before the EU referendum.

It emerges that 23-year-old Darren Grimes was one of the most prominent unofficial campaigners on the Brexit camp, with Vote Leave admitting it parted with the cash as it closed in on its £7m spend limit.

Darren Grimes Vote Leave Campaigner

Vote Leave campaigner Darren Grimes

A source from the campaign told the Times: “He may be young but there was no point giving money to old people to run a campaign persuading young people to vote for Brexit.”

He used his funds to enlist the aid of AggregateIQ to alter opinion in the days running up to the vote with the BeLeave project. Ultimately, 52 per cent of voters in the UK elected to leave the EU.

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Turnout among 18 to 24-year-olds sat at a mere 36 per cent with a YouGov poll stating that 75 per cent of this group opted to stay.

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