Wellingborough MP Peter Bone: “I’ve no link with Cambridge Analytica”

Peter Bone and Nigel Farage during a walkabout in Wellingborough to publicise Grassroots Out in January 2016
Peter Bone and Nigel Farage during a walkabout in Wellingborough to publicise Grassroots Out in January 2016

A Brexit campaign organisation founded by Wellingborough MP Peter Bone never used data from under-fire firm Cambridge Analytica, Mr Bone has said.

Cambridge Analytica is cited in official documentation as a strategic partner of Go Movement Limited - the Brexit umbrella campaign group of which Mr Bone and Corby and East Northants MP Tom Pursglove are directors.

Go Movement Limited (GML) was the unsuccessful applicant to bid to run the official Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum.

It was founded to bring all the Leave groups under one united campaign.

Its application form to the Electoral Commission names political campaign company Cambridge Analytica as one of its strategic partners.

Cambridge Analytica has come under intense scrutiny in recent days after one of its former workers said that the firm surreptitiously used the personal Facebook data of millions of users to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum.

Its director Andrew Nix has been suspended and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted the company “made mistakes” in its dealings with Cambridge Analytica.

The official GML documentation submitted in March 2016 states: “Cambridge Analytica is the world’s foremost provider of data-driven political campaign solutions.

“The methodology is driven by data. The more you know about an individual, the more you can understand the best way to engage with them.

“Cambridge Analytica’s ‘Behavioural Micro-targeting’ goes beyond demographics, enabling GML to identify potential supporters irrespective of where they live or any demographic traits that may have led political parties to overlook them in the past.

“CA uses vast amounts of data including consumer histories, lifestyle information, census returns and historical voting records to construct advanced profiles of individual voters.

“CA uses state-of-the-art psychological analysis to quantify voter behaviour and design campaign messaging strategies accordingly.”

Mr Bone explained that, although the company was cited as a partner of GML of which he was a founder and director, he has never met anyone from Cambridge Analytica nor paid them any money.

He said: “They were not involved at all. If we had got the designation, they might have been.

“I’ve never met anyone from CA.

“If we had been the lead campaigner we would have worked with them. We never gave them any money.”

The Go Movement was an umbrella organisation launched that brought together prominent Brexit campaigners including UKIP and several other Leave groups.

Its attempt to run the Leave campaign was unsuccessful and Go Movement Limited was dissolved in February 2017.

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected after earlier stating that GML was still listed as an active company at Companies House with two remaining directors - Mr Pursglove and Mr Bone. We apologise for the error.