A Conservative councillor has been suspended for campaigning to making it “treason” to support the European Union “the day the United Kingdom leaves”.
Christian Holliday, a Conservative party councillor for Burpham, near Guildford in Surrey, launched a petition called: “Amend the Treason Felony Act to make supporting UK membership of the EU a crime.”
Specifically, he demanded it becomes a criminal offence to “imagine, devise, promote, work, or encourage others, to support UK becoming a member of the European Union” and to “conspire with foreign powers to make the UK, or part of the UK, become a member of the EU.”
“It is becoming clear that many politicians and others are unwilling to accept the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU,” the petition adds.
“Brexit must not be put at risk in the years and decades ahead. For this reason we the undersigned request that the Treason Felony Act be amended as set out in this petition.”
Despite the petition largely being taken as a joke, pro-EU campaigners seized upon it as evidence of the alleged ‘extremism’ of some Brexit supporters and Mr. Holloday was promptly reprimanded.
The Guardian newspaper even approached the Prime Minister for comment and the Liberal Democrats put out an official statement condemning the “Medieval” and “frightening” situation.
“I have suspended a member of the Conservative Group [in Guildford Council] this morning. Whip withdrawn until next Group Meeting in Nov”, announced Councillor Paul Spooner this afternoon on Twitter.
Mr. Spooner is a supporter of the EU, who still proudly displaying the ‘Conservative for Europe’ logo in his online profile picture.
Tom Brake MP, the Lib Dem’s Chief Whip and Foreign Affairs Spokesman, commented on the official statement.
“It’s bad enough that a Conservative Councillor is trying to shut down any democratic debate about Brexit as treason, but it’s downright frightening that the Prime Minister has so far refused to condemn him.
“People did not vote to turn back the clock to Medieval Britain.
“The Lib Dems will be the real voice of opposition and fight against a reckless Brexit that takes us out of the Single Market,” he added.