NO2AV Referendum – 2011 saw the first UK wide referendum since 1975.
While nominally Communications Director, my de facto role in the referendum campaign very soon became cross-party parliamentary liaison. I conducted the negotiations to bring the Labour Party on board the official NO campaign. Labour and the Conservative Party are tribal opposites and working together was a big thing for them. This was complicated by the Labour Party’s suspicion of, and historical hostility, towards the influential low tax lobbying group The Tax Payers’ Alliance founded by Matthew Elliott, the Campaign Director for NO2AV.
Terry Paul and I also ran a below the radar campaign aimed at persuading members of minority UK communities to vote NO.
The BBC alternately called the result “overwhelming” and “thumping”. 19 million people voted. The 6th of May was a fantastic day ending with a long and VERY well celebrated night!
We won big because we – you – got Labour on board. Your positive, appealing personality was crucial to those negotiations…
– Matthew Elliott, NO2AV Campaign Director
Peter has forensic political antennae.
– Lord Bruce Grocott, PPS to Tony Blair 1994 – 2001, Govt Chief Whip in the House of Lords 2002 – 2008
Peter is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side. His genuine, friendly and open approach have made him a favourite amongst Labour politicians voting No to AV – quite an achievement for a Conservative Party campaigner!
Peter is the main architect of the deep co-operation between Conservatives and Labour people on the referendum’s No side, largely thanks to his shrewd understanding of people and sensitivity to the boundaries that lie between the two cultures that define mainstream British politics. I have also been impressed by the success of his work with people from a minority background. On the No campaign, as in his work on the campaign against people trafficking, Peter’s deep committment to these causes shines through in all of his dealings with everyone, both within the team and without.
He is an excellent team worker and takes the time to encourage others and make positive suggestions to maintain forward momentum. I have no hesitation in recommending him as a very creative campaigner and great fun to work with.
– The Rt Hon Jane Kennedy, National Organiser NO2AV and former Labour Government Minister:
Peter Botting is a fluent, gregarious and energetic campaigner. From my time working alongside him at the heart of a national campaign, I quickly came to appreciate his keen sense of big picture politics and strategy. A strong communicator, Peter’s work took him daily along paths spanning the political spectrum, demonstrating clear big tent skills.
– Dr Lee Rotherham