Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has viciously condemned “radicalised Remainers” after a picture of him in the centre of gun crosshairs was published on Twitter by ardent pro-EU activist and former Liberal Democrat council candidate Richard Hall, who asked users “as a patriot, do you squeeze the trigger?”.
The tweet was posted by – it was widely ‘liked’ and retweeted widely, but also prompted severe criticism from both leave and remain supporters, and has since been removed by the social media giant for violating its policies.
An understandably shocked Farage asked users to “imagine the outcry if a Brexit Party candidate posted a picture like this of [Liberal Democrat leader] Jo Swinson”, and suggested “remainers have been radicalised by politicians who refuse to accept a democratic vote”.
This garbage right here makes me sick, and people like Richard Hall should be ashamed of themselves— Julien Hoez (@JulienHoez) July 29, 2019
It's only just about been 3 years since Jo Cox was murdered for gods sake, and people are already playing with the idea of assassinating politicians they dislike. pic.twitter.com/14fOjDj9Mn
Hall was a candidate in Reading in the 2006 local elections, and his Twitter biography describes him as a “grumpy old Leftie” and part of “Team Tusk” – a reference to the European Council President - who refuses to “forgive #Brexitjihadis”, and is involved in the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign. In an August 2006 blog post, Hall also railed against the “tragedy of Zionism”.
The furore comes at a time of increasing alarm about the treatment of politicians on both sides of the Brexit debate, and the abuse of politicians both in public and on social media.
Imagine the outcry if a Brexit Party candidate posted a picture like this of Jo Swinson?— Unfollow Farage (@UnfollowFarage) July 30, 2019
Remainers have been radicalised by politicians who refuse to accept a democratic vote. https://t.co/LSA6QiIEaq
Many female MPs have reported routinely and regularly receiving vicious threats of rape, violence and murder – security has been significantly ramped up for parliamentarians of every gender since Labour’s Jo Cox was murdered in her Batley & Spen constituency in 2016. Some have called for harsh punishments for those who direct threats at public figures via Twitter and the like.