Leave.EU slammed over ‘vile’ Brexit poster exploiting Orlando massacre
The UKIP-backed Leave.EU campaign has been savaged for using the Orlando massacre to encourage people to vote for Brexit.
50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
The Leave.EU campaign, funded by UKIP donor Arron Banks, made use of the tragedy in a release this week.
The shocking poster displayed a picture of ISIS fighters and the message: “Islamist extremism is a threat to our way of life. Act now before we see an Orlando-style atrocity here before too long.”
Orlando is not in the EU.
Leave.EU had initially tweeted the poster to its thousands of followers, but attracted strong criticism for the exploitation of the tragedy.
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Equalities minister Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education, said the poster was “really shameful”, while Labour’s Hilary Ben described it as “cowardly”. Green MP Caroline Lucas described it as “vile”.
The tweet has since been deleted. UPDATE: The poster has now once again been tweeted.
A source inside the Leave.EU campaign apparently described the move to Huffington Post as a “clusterf**k”.
However, the group’s co-founder Mr Banks has stopped short of an apology.
He said: “We have studied at length what the prime minister himself has said about Islamist attacks in this country and we are all in agreement.
“We need to tackle ISIS and its exploitation of our good, Muslim communities. We stand side by side with everyone wants to bring security to our world.”
Nicky Morgan told PinkNews: “I am horrified and saddened by the events in Orlando over the weekend and my heart goes out to the families, friends and partners of those who were killed and injured in this sickening terrorist attack.
“This disgusting act of hate, targeted at LGBT people, must reaffirm our resolve to stand together and build a society where no one lives in fear because of who they are who they love.”