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Revealed: Second EU referendum petition was started by right-wing activist who backed Brexit

bfffA man claiming to have started the petition for a second EU referendum is as a right-wing activist who voted for Brexit, it has emerged.

Oliver Healey, who is a candidate for the far-right English Democrats party, complained the petition has been “hijacked” by Remain campaigners.

Three million people signed it in a matter of days as Remain backers seek to circumnavigate the result of the EU referendum.

But Mr Healey, who is named on the petition as its founder, said he created it “over a month ago” when he thought the Remain camp would win.

He said: “Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the remain campaign.

“However, since I am associated with the petition and before the press further associate me with it I felt the need to better clarify my position on the issue even if it looks bad. I am its creator, nothing more”.

Mr Healey, who is standing for the English Democrats in Leicestershire, has a Facebook profile which is littered with anti-EU and nationalist material.

He added: “I have been opposed to the bureaucratic and undemocratic nature of the European Union as an institution privately for many years and for all of my political career.”

“I believe what we need to do now for the good of the country is get behind the will of the British people, unite, issue Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and move forward, with the process of leaving the European Union.”

The comments came amid claims that the petition is being “fraudulently” manipulated by Remain campaigners.

Leave voters have been sharing a tweet which allegedly stated: “If you’re not British, sign this petition anyway pls and DM for postcode. We’re desperate #VoteRemain.”

It was apparently posted from an account which has since been deleted.

There were also claims that the petition had been targeted by hackers who were furiously voting. Commons officials denied the claims.

A screenshot of a message which was allegedly written by a hacker has also been sent to the Met Police after being shared on Twitter.

It stated: “I have hacked the UK petition website and am currently voting like crazy on this petition.”

Meanwhile, a German journalist claims to have signed the petition to prove it can be manipulated.

Lorenz Hemicker ‏tweeted: “Are you British? Sure! Voting for a 2nd #Brexit-Referendum takes only 30 seconds. Even for a German journalist.”

People are asked to confirm they are a British citizen or UK resident and provide a postcode and email address to sign petitions on the website.

They then have to click a link which is sent to the given email address to confirm their signature.

The petition went viral after the EU referendum ended with a narrow win for the Leave campaign.

It was created about a month before Thursday’s poll, which saw 17.4 million votes cast to leave the EU, compared with 16.1 million for remaining, with a turnout of 72.2 per cent.

It states: “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.”

But the country’s foremost elections expert today insisted there was “no chance” of a second referendum taking place.

Professor John Curtice, who produced the only general election exit poll to correctly predict a Conservative victory, was speaking after the petition reached a million signatures.

He said: “How many people voted in favour of Leave? Seventeen million. One million is chicken feed by comparison.

“It’s no good people signing the petition now, they should have done it before. Even then, these petitions don’t always mean a great deal.

“It has passed the 100,000 mark for it to be debated in Parliament. All that means is that some MPs will say, ‘It’s a terrible shame’, others will say, ‘Hallelujah’. Then that’s the end of it.”