Both sides of the EU referendum debate have expressed their outrage after a Leave EU campaign backed by an insurance tycoon from Berkshire
, linked Brexit to the Orlando shootings.
The @LeaveEUOfficial Twitter account, which is run by Leave.EU, a campaign founded by insurance tycoon Arron Banks, has urged voters to back the leave campaign in an effort to prevent an “Orlando-style atrocity”.
The message, posted just one day after 50 people were killed in a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida, commented that: “Islamist extremism is a real threat to our way of life. Act now before we see an Orlando-style atrocity here before too long.”
According to a Reuters
report, it was accompanied by another tweet stating: “The free movement of Kalashnikovs in Europe helps terrorists. Vote for greater security on June 23. Vote #Leave.”
reports that it has made several calls and sent emails to the campaign to confirm that it had posted the advertisement – but that its calls remain unanswered. Banks was the chief executive of Southern Rock Insurance Company, which underwrites insurance for the website GoSkippy.com, which he also founded.
The messages come one day after Omar Mateen, a son of Afghan immigrants, was shot and killed by police after a three-hour siege in a gay nightclub in Florida.
In response, the official “Vote Leave” campaign has disassociated itself from the poster; with Boris Johnson, one of the leaders of the campaign, stressing it is “very, very important” not to make political capital out of the shooting.
Meanwhile, Hilary Benn, foreign affairs spokesman for the Labour Party, commented that it was a “shameful and cowardly” post.
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