Conservative councillor says EU support should be treason
A Conservative councillor in Surrey, Christian Holliday, has launched a petition calling for support of UK membership of the European Union to be declared treason.
The petition was added to the UK government and Parliament websites on 15 October.
If it attracts 100,000 signatures, Parliament will be asked to consider debating it. So far, more than 1,200 people have signed it.
The petition calls on Westminster to ensure the "Treason Felony Act be amended to include the following offences:
- "To imagine, devise, promote, work, or encourage others, to support [the] UK becoming a member of the European Union.
- "To conspire with foreign powers to make the UK, or part of the UK, become a member of the EU."
It goes on to say:
"It is becoming clear that many politicians and others are unwilling to accept the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU.
"Brexit must not be put at risk in the years and decades ahead."
The measure would take effect the day the UK leaves the EU.
Holliday has since been suspended by the leader of Guildford Borough Council, fellow Conservative Paul Spooner.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Spooner labelled the petition "illogical nonsense from someone who clearly needs support".
Asked if Theresa May viewed support for the EU as treason, a Downing Street spokeswoman said:
"Different people will choose their words differently. The prime minister is very clear that the British people have made their decision."
Mr Holliday's petition has been criticised by some on social media, after Mr Holliday tweeted to ask his followers to sign it. His tweet was later deleted. Comments from Twitter users @skiamakhos and @GMMcLean were typical of much of the reaction, with some people referring to the councillor's proposal as "Orwellian".
As Christian Holliday's name trended on Twitter, some used the opportunity to poke fun at it.
According to his website, Christian Holliday was the lead co-ordinator for the Vote Leave campaign in Guildford during the EU referendum.
In 2010 he stood as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Swansea East, coming third.
He has been approached for comment.
By Chris Bell, Social News and UGC