IDS urged to disown pro-Brexit film that compares that immigrants to snakes
Controversial video posted by Leave.EU features sinister music and Donald Trump voiceover.
The Vote Leave campaign has been challenged to distance itself from a pro-Brexit video that compares immigrants to snakes and features a voiceover from Donald Trump.
Posted on Leave.EU’s Facebook page, the two-minute long video depicts images of the recent migration crisis sweeping Europe.
Played over sinister background music, Donald Trump is heard reading lyrics from Johnny Rivers’ song ‘The Snake’, which tells the story of a woman who takes and cares for a freezing snake, only to be fatally bitten by it.
Leave.EU and Vote Leave have frequently engaged in slanging matches in recent months as they vied for the Electoral Commission’s designation as the official Brexit campaign.
A cross-party group of senior politicians in the Remain campaign has written to Vote Leave supporter Iain Duncan Smith asking him to disown the message in the film.
Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and Conservative MP Nicholas Soames argue that Vote Leave will be "complicit in a campaign that is increasingly inflammatory in tone" if it does not call for the film to be withdrawn.
"Depicting whole nationalities negatively to a Donald Trump voice-over – a man whose immigration policy is to ‘build a wall’ – is surely beneath us all," the MPs say.
“Donald Trump has failed to disavow the Klu Klux Klan, has called Mexican immigrants ‘criminals’ and ‘rapists’ and has questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy as President of the United States on the grounds of nationality. His politics have no place in this debate, and yet they seem to be guiding the leave campaign's strategy.
"Border control and the economic implications of immigration are rightly central to this debate over Britain and Europe, but this early and ugly descent in to xenophobia must be stopped."
They argue that the video will "fuel division and tension” and call on Vote Leave to “immediately and publicly reject this embrace of Donald Trump’s stance on immigration".
Leave.EU later insisted that they did not endorse the video - despite posting it on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The group narrowly lost out in its bid to become the official Leave campaign and is closely associated with UKIP and Arron Banks, the party’s biggest donor.