JK Rowling has accused Nigel Farage of using Nazi-style propaganda to win the EU referendum.
In an essay published on her website, titled "On Monsters, Villains the EU Referendum," the Harry Potter author argues it is "nonsensical to pretend that racists and bigots aren't flocking to the 'Leave' cause, or that they aren't, in some instances, directing it".
She wrote: "The picture of Nigel Farage standing in front of a poster showing a winding line of Syrian refugees captioned 'Breaking Point' is, as countless people have already pointed out, an almost exact duplicate of propaganda used by the Nazis."
Mr Farage was widely condemned when he unveiled a poster showing a winding queue of refugees stretching into the distance.
The poster carried the headline "Breaking Point" and said "The EU has failed us all". It has been reported to police under the pretext it allegedly incites racial hatred.
In her essay, Ms Rowling writes: "It is dishonourable to suggest, as many have, that Leavers are all racists and bigots: they aren’t and it is shameful to suggest that they are.
"Nevertheless, it is equally nonsensical to pretend that racists and bigots aren’t flocking to the ‘Leave’ cause, or that they aren’t, in some instances, directing it. For some of us, that fact alone is enough to give us pause."
The author urges her readers to "look towards the Republican Party in America and shudder," and describes Donald Trump as a "fascist in all but name".
She goes on to write: "No, I don’t think the EU’s perfect. Which human union couldn’t use improvement?
"From friendships, marriages, families and workplaces, all the way up to political parties, governments and cultural economic unions, there will be flaws and disagreements. Because we’re human."
She adds: "So why bother building these ambitious alliances and communities? Because they protect and empower us, because they enable bigger and better achievements than we can manage alone.
"We should be proud of our enduring desire to join together, seeking better, safer, fairer lives, for ourselves and for millions of others."
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies