Petition for 2nd Brexit Vote Was 'Hijacked,' Creator Says

More than 3.7M people have signed push for 2nd vote—but 'Leave' creator is balking
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2016 10:27 AM CDT
Petition for 2nd Brexit Vote Was 'Hijacked,' Creator Says
A "hijacked" petition?   (UK Parliament)

Be careful what you wish for—or at least anticipate you might get it before you create a petition. In May, before the Brexit vote took place, "Leave" advocate William Oliver Healey created a petition through government channels, calling for a second EU referendum if certain conditions weren't met on the first vote: specifically, if "the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based [on] a turnout less than 75%." (It appears Healey first put the petition up in November and re-upped it in May after it expired.) And that's exactly what happened in Thursday's vote, with the BBC noting the winning "Leave" category only received 52%, with turnout at 72.2%. Healey is now claiming the petition, with more than 3.7 million signatures, has been "hijacked" by "Remain" supporters, the Telegraph reports. "This petition was created at a time … when it was looking unlikely that 'leave' were going to win," he wrote in a Facebook post.

And now that Team Leave is the victor, Healey is steaming. "I am genuinely appalled by the behavior of some of the remain campaign. … 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." Another twist: a House of Commons investigation that thousands of petition signatures may be fraudulent, with people complaining online that phony signatures may have been electronically created and that some petition signers seem to come from as far away as North Korea and Bermuda, among other non-UK locales. About 77,000 signatures have already been scrubbed, the HOC Petitions Committee said in a Sunday tweet, and an HOC rep said it would consider debating the petition next week. Still, this may all be for naught: PM David Cameron said Monday after a Cabinet meeting that a second referendum is "not remotely [in] the cards," per the Independent. (More Brexit stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.