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British MP Warsi faces Islamophobic abuse for defecting Brexit camp

20 June 2016 17:52

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Former chair of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Hussain Warsi has been subjected to Islamophobic abuse by supporters of Leave the EU campaign after switching her sides from Leave to Remain camp.

Baroness Warsi said on Monday morning that she will no more support the Leave campaign as its “hate and xenophobia” had gone “too far.”

She noted that she realized she could no longer support the Brexit camp after she saw the UK Independent Party (UKIP)’s poster that portrayed syrian refugees in a negative light.

“That ‘breaking point’ poster really was – for me – the breaking point to say, ‘I can’t go on supporting this’,” she said.

“When I look at the people who are now saying the things they are saying and the people who are supporting that approach, the BNP, Donald Trump, Marine le Pen, Austria’s Freedom Party – every day it feels like the far right is coming out to stand by Leave,” she added.


UK Independence Party Leader (UKIP) Nigel Farage poses during the launch of a national poster campaign urging voters to vote to leave the EU in London on June 16, 2016. ©AFP

The Tory peer was subjected to vicious attacks on social media immediately after her decision was made public.

Warsi, who is a Muslim, received several Islamophobic messages on social media. She was referred to as “jihadist Trojan horse” and a person who hired extremist Muslim staff.

One user said she is a “Cameron stooge” and would received money for supporting the In campaign.

Warsi, who resigned from the government in 2014 for her anti-Israel remarks, posted screenshots of the abuse from her account.

“The vile reaction of people unhappy with my decision to leave ‘Leave’. Politics of hate must stop,” Warsi said.

The abuse came amid calls for improving the tone of the campaign following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox.

The 41-year-old MP was killed last week in her district in northern England by a man who shouted “Britain first, keep Britain independent”, and “Britain always comes first, this is for Britain.”

According to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times newspaper, anti-Brexit support had gained a narrow 44-43 percent lead over the “Leave” campaign, while the Daily Mail reported a 3-point lead for the “Remain” campaign.

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