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Boss Kevin Spencer tells Markerstudy workers how to vote on EU

A company boss has been accused of scaremongering to persuade his employees to vote to stay in the EU.

Markerstudy Group chief executive Kevin Spencer sent an email outlining his views to 4,000 staff nationwide including those at the Whitstable branch.

He attempted to convince them that their jobs and the motor insurance firm would be at risk if the UK leaves the EU.

The Markerstudy offices in Whitstable
The Markerstudy offices in Whitstable

Mr Spencer explained his company would have “no plan B”.

He said: “I’m a definite ‘in’ and the reason is simple.

“I have built a business, raised a family, bought a home and generally had a good life being part of the EU.

“Of course, there are bits I’d change but on the whole I feel we are better in.

“Furthermore, we are a European company utilising freedom of services.

“If we vote out this all ends. It’s true to say we do not have a plan B because nobody knows the result.

“However, what I do know is the bureaucracy we experience now will pale into insignificance if we are out.”

Mr Spencer also rejected any claims that immigration should be a reason to vote out.

His email said: “In terms of immigration, I don’t see the fall-out the harbingers of doom foresee.

“We need immigration – my mother is a migrant from Ireland and if she hadn’t come to England, I wouldn’t have started the company and you wouldn’t have the job you have today.

“So I ask of you two things. Firstly, don’t be indifferent to this. Ensure you are registered and have your say.

“And secondly, vote to remain in – it will affect us as a business and you as an employee.”

The message annoyed at least one employee at the Whitstable branch in the Old Thanet Way.

Markerstudy has bought several companies this year
Markerstudy has bought several companies this year

They said: “I can’t believe the audacity of the man. It’s scaremongering at its very best.

“He’s basically saying ‘vote to stay or your job might be at risk’.

“How can he possibly know how leaving the EU will affect the company when the top businesses and financial minds in the UK have conflicting views?

“He’s fully entitled to his opinion and to vote however he chooses, but so are all his staff.

“They shouldn’t be told how to vote. It goes against the principles of democracy.”

Markerstudy’s director of marketing and communications Lizzie Smith-Foreman argued the message was not undemocratic.

She said: “We believe it’s the correct thing to try and guide our colleagues.

“We were asking them to ensure they were registered and that an out vote would inevitably affect the way we trade.

“We felt it was remiss of us not to explain the consequences of an out vote and how it might affect our employees because as one of Kent’s largest employers, Brexit would potentially mean large job losses for us.”

The Gibraltar-based insurer, which has offices in Sevenoaks, uses the EU freedom of services in its business operation, underwriting motor insurance in the UK.

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