Brexit campaigner admits he set up second EU referendum petition signed by three million people

William Oliver Healey says his campaign has now been ‘hijacked’ by remain voters

Harry Cockburn
Sunday 26 June 2016 14:52 BST
William Oliver Healey, an English Democrats activist and Leave campaigner, was concerned the Remain camp would win
William Oliver Healey, an English Democrats activist and Leave campaigner, was concerned the Remain camp would win (Facebook/Oliver Healy)

A Leave campaigner who was worried Remain would win has admitted he set up the hugely popular petition to re-run the EU referendum - which has garnered more than three million signatures.

William Oliver Healey, an English Democrat activist, set up the petition in May. It asks for the EU referendum to be re-run if the remain or leave vote is less than 60%, based a turnout of less than 75%.

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Since the results of the referendum were announced, with the Leave campaign winning by 52% to 48% from a turnout of 72%, the number of signatories demanding another referendum has soared.

It is now the most-signed government petition since the online process was introduced in 2011. In comparison, the Block Donald J Trump from UK entry petition, which was given broad media coverage, reached 586,000 signatures.

But Mr Healey is not happy that his referendum petition has become such a roaring success.

Writing on Facebook, he admitted he was the creator of the petition, but said: “Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the Remain campaign.”


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Mr Healey has apparently disowned the petition, describing himself as its “creator, nothing more”, and has turned his ire on the Remain campaign.

“I am genuinely appalled by the behaviour of some of the Remain campaign, how they are conducting themselves post-referendum not just with this petition but generally. The referendum was fairly funded; democratically endorsed, every vote was weighted equally and I believe this was a true reflection of the mood of the country,” he said.

Parliament considers any petition that gets more than 100,000 signatures for debate, so Mr Healey’s petition may yet reach MPs, no matter how he feels about it.

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