The petition for a second EU referendum with 3 million signatures was started by a leave voter last month worried the remain camp would win.
William Oliver Healey, an English Democrat activist, claims it has been "hijacked" and has tried to distance himself from what has become the largest petition of its kind in history.
On his blog he says: "I am 27 years old and I am just a honest fellow who loves his country and is sick and tired of the poverty and incompetence that it is racked with. The comments are my own and not associated with any political party unless specified."
Reaction to the revelation has generally been along the lines of this...
In a separate development it was announced the petition is being investigated for fraudulent signatures added.
The full statement reads:
***CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!***
Re: EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum petition
This petition was created at a time (over a month ago) when it was looking unlikely that 'leave' were going to win, with the intention of making it harder for 'remain' to further shackle us to the EU. Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the remain campaign. Admittedly, my actions were premature however, my intentions were as stated above. THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE OF A LEAVE VICTORY AT THAT TIME!!! Having said that, if it had not been mine, it would have been orchestrated by someone on 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 it's creator, nothing more! The logistical probability of getting a turnout to be a minimum of 75% and of that, 60% of the vote must be one or the other (leave or remain) is in my opinion next to impossible without a compulsory element to the voting system.
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 have openly and actively lent my support to both Vote Leave and Grassroots Out campaigns - why would I do this if I wanted to remain in the EU? I am genuinely appalled by the behaviour of some of the remain campaign, how they are conducting themselves post-referendum not just with this petition but generally. The referendum was fairly funded; democratically endorsed, every vote was weighted equally and I believe this was a true reflection of the mood of the country. To my fellow leavers, now doubting their decision please keep the faith, we will be fine just stick with it. 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.
William Oliver Healey
Creator of EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum petition
The petition 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.
The number of signatures means it must be considered for a Parliamentary debate.
Leave won 51.9% of the total vote to Remain’s 48.1% after the final count. Turnout in the referendum was 71.8% - with more than 30 million people voting.
Despite an on-the-day poll predicting a win for Remain, Leave voters turned out in droves in order to take the UK out of the EU.
The decision has already sent shockwaves around the world and prompted the resignation of David Cameron.
Another petition using the hashtag #londependence calls on Sadiq Khan to declare London independent and rejoin the EU.
In an interview with the Mirror the Ukip leader said such a narrow margin would prompt him to fight for a second referendum.
He said: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”
Britain voted to leave the EU with a 52-48 split.
Nigel Farage has not suggested a second referendum.