Belfast Telegraph

Emblazoned on billboards - quotes the politicians would rather forget

The Led By Donkeys poster featuring a quote from Nigel Farage placed on the Falls Road, Belfast
The Led By Donkeys poster featuring a quote from Nigel Farage placed on the Falls Road, Belfast
A poster featuring a quote from Karen Bradley at Cityside
A Nigel Lawson quote in Armagh
Jacob Rees-Mogg at the Westwood Centre in Belfast
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Billboard depicting "damning" political quotes have been placed in locations across Northern Ireland by anti-Brexit campaign group Led By Donkeys.

The group was formed by four friends in England to highlight what they see as the double standards of politicians on Brexit.

The "guerrilla advertising" campaign is designed to embarrass pro-Brexit politicians by using past claims and predictions.

In January they erected the first featuring ex-Prime Minister David Cameron's May 2015 tweet in which he promised "stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband".

While the posters don't always depict tweets, they're all real quotes from key political figures.

After putting eight up in the dead of night featuring Brexiteers David Davis, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson and others, it set up a crowdfunding page, which has raised more than £250,000.

Ten weeks later the group is paying for adverts across the UK and its @ByDonkeys Twitter account boasts 100,000 followers.

Five billboards are here - three in Belfast, one in Lisburn and another in Armagh. They feature quotes from Secretary of State Karen Bradley, and Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Farage and Nigel Lawson.

Mrs Bradley's admission last September that she knew little of local politics before taking the job has been immortalised in the adverts.

In a magazine interview Mrs Bradley said: "I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland, people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa."

Those remarks feature on billboards at Yorkgate in Belfast and Prince William Road in Lisburn.

The NIO declined to comment.

One of those behind the secretive campaign is Richard (44), who did not want to be fully named. He said: "We had initially been focusing on parts of the UK that voted Leave but we were then asked to put some up in Northern Ireland.

"We put out a tweet earlier this month asking local people for their suggestions of what should we put on our posters. There was a lot of enthusiasm for us to use Karen Bradley's remarks. It was unforgiveable that a Cabinet minister with such an important portfolio should admit to such a thing.

"We felt it was pretty extraordinary and deserved pride of place on a billboard. We had considered using remarks from the likes of the DUP, which would be rich pickings for a political satire group like ours.

"However, we are conscious that all four of us are English so we didn't want to wade into the politics of Northern Ireland and cause offence.

"Given the response on social media and to our fundraising, it's clear that people like what we're doing."

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