Ex-Conservative Party chair switches sides on EU referendum

Ex-Conservative Party chair switches sides on EU referendum
Ex-Conservative Party chair switches sides on EU referendum

21 June, 2016

"It was unfortunate timing that, within a couple of hours of releasing it, this awful tragic murder took place".

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, has slammed the Prime Minister for using the death of Jo Cox MP for political gain in the European Union referendum campaign, and "trying to conflate the actions of one individual with the motives of half of Britain".

However Mr Farage defended the use of the poster, denying that he had been trying to stir up hatred.

"A poster on the streets of Britain that demonised hundreds of desperate refugees including hungry, terrified children fleeing from the terror of Isis and from Russian bombs".

The pro-Brexit poster was revealed in central London on Thursday with the slogan Breaking Point and it was nearly instantly condemned by politicians from across the political spectrum.

Told he did not sound "too keen" on the European Union, he replied: "Whatever the result we have got to work with it". When you're taking on the establishment you need to have momentum. It uses a photograph taken in October of a group of migrants crossing the Croatian border to a refugee camp in Slovenia.

But when Mr Peston later questioned the Ukip leader during the show on whether he thought he was responsible for "stoking up hatred", he responded by saying he believed he was a victim of hate himself.

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake said: "It's a shame that instead of engaging on the issues, Farage and his cronies have resorted to small-minded fear tactics and xenophobia".

Labour former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper said the debate over the poster was "incredibly depressing". A daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she was the first Muslim woman to be selected for political candidacy by the Conservative party, and later, the first to serve in the cabinet.

Warsi had not played a prominent role in the "Leave" campaign but said she had long made the case for quitting the EU.

Mr Cameron said that there were "good ways" of controlling immigration through changes to the welfare system, but added: " A bad thing to do would be to leave the single market, costing jobs, hurting businesses and hurting families' finances right up and down the country.

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Asked to comment on the Prime Minister's criticism of him, Mr Farage told LBC Radio this morning: "Well what do you expect it's a Prime Minister in trouble".

Mr Corbyn suggested he would defy European Union rules to protect the steel industry and renationalise the railways if he becomes prime minister at the 2020 general election "or sooner".

Jeremy Corbyn has conceded voters "may well" back Brexit but insisted he would not take the blame if Britain severs its ties with Brussels.

She pointed to a poster from one of the "Leave" campaigns, which used a photo of refugees walking through a field in Europe under the slogan "Breaking Point" - a message she said she did not want to form "the basis of the kind of Britain that I want to live in and to bring my kids up in".

"When I launched the poster there was no controversy at all, in fact I'd launched a similar one before the London Assembly election just a few weeks before".

The poster has been condemned by politicians and commentators of all stripes. "Politics of hate must stop", Warsi said.

As the poster was unveiled and paraded around Westminster on a bus blaring out "The Great Escape" theme, one passer by shouted "Farage!"

But the intervention came amid clashes over whether Mrs Cox's death was being politicised.

He described it as "vile".

Mr Farage told Today: "I didn't invent that picture".

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