George Soros promises big new donation to stop Brexit as press 'smear campaign' backfires
The billionaire George Soros has promised a leading anti-Brexit campaign an extra six figure donation following what he called a "smear campaign" against him in the British press.
Soros said he would match any donations given to the Best for Britain campaign up to the value of £100,000, following a week of front-page attacks in the Daily Mail and Telegraph.
This will bring his total donation to the anti-Brexit cause so far to £500,000.
The Daily Telegraph was accused last week of pushing anti-Semitic memes against him. The paper repeated a series of allegations against Soros, who is Jewish, for his "interference" in Western politics, some of which are popular among the far-right in Europe and the US.
In a front-page story, co-authored the by prime minister's former chief of staff Nick Timothy, they accused Soros or running a "secret" campaign to stop Brexit.
In fact Best of Britain, who Soros supports, is one of a number of pro-EU groups who are openly campaigning for a second referendum on Brexit.
The billionaire has described Britain's decision to leave the EU as a "tragic mistake" that has already made Britain worse off.
"The fact that conditions are unsatisfactory does not mean that they can't get worse. That is what has happened in Britain," he wrote in the Mail on Sunday.
"Before the referendum Britain was doing better economically than the rest of Europe. But this has now been reversed, with Continental economies powering ahead while Britain lags behind."
He added that the problems caused by Brexit would become "painfully obvious" as the date of Britain's exit approached.
Soros said he would continue to fund anti-Brexit campaigners: "I am happy to take the fight to those who have tried to use a smear campaign not arguments to prop up their failing case," he said.
Best for Britain welcomed Soros' donation.
"We live in a democracy, and the right to freedom of speech is precious," Best for Britain CEO Eloise Todd said in a statement.
"Elements of the right-wing press don't seem to agree. The UK's future with the EU is not a done deal, there is still a vote to come and people across the country deserve to know the truth about the options on the table: one of which is staying and leading in the EU."