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Fury over DUP Wilson's 'fascist' jibe

By Rebecca Black

Published 05/07/2016

Pro-Brexit Sammy Wilson of the DUP
Pro-Brexit Sammy Wilson of the DUP

Remain campaigners have reacted with shock after DUP MP Sammy Wilson branded as "fascists" those who want the referendum over the UK's membership of the EU rerun.

The East Antrim representative - who campaigned strongly for a Leave vote - spoke out about how he gets "annoyed" by calls for the vote to be run again.

The Leave campaign narrowly won with 51.9% of the popular vote against 48.1% for Remain, but now some four million people across the UK have signed an online petition calling for the vote to be rerun.

Mr Wilson has blasted them as those who "don't wish to have democratic wishes honoured".

"There have been all kind of spurious reasons given," he told The Stephen Nolan Show.

"The first is Northern Ireland voted to stay so therefore I should be representing the people of Northern Ireland - but the people of East Antrim voted to Leave so I should be representing them.

"The second is that the people didn't know what they were doing, and that they are now regretting it as if those people who voted Leave were some kind of morons, and the intellectual elite of this country are now trying to save them from themselves and it really does annoy me.

"I mean these people are in my view little short of fascists. It is driven by people who would regard themselves as the elite in society, who I think have total disregard for the views of ordinary people."

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna, who campaigned for Remain, said she was shocked by Mr Wilson's comments and cautioned care over the term "fascist".

"Sammy would need to be very careful around the word fascist when a woman was murdered by a far right group who were inflamed by the Leave campaign by all accounts," she said.

"The SDLP's position is certainly not about rerunning the election, though the same disenfranchised people that Sammy claims to speak for are going to be increasingly frustrated as the scale of the things that the Leave campaign claimed unravels.

"The DUP continue to pick and choose what majorities they will accept, not least the Good Friday Agreement majority of 71% which they thwarted for many years."

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