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Brexit: Steve Bray vows to carry on 'Mr Stop Brexit' protest

By Rachel Flint
BBC News

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media captionThe campaigner, from Port Talbot - nicknamed Mr Stop Brexit - says he won't stop now.

A man who uprooted his life to protest against Brexit has vowed to carry on protesting outside Parliament.

Steve Bray, from Port Talbot, has become known as "Mr Stop Brexit" for his divisive hollering in Westminster.

He said he was prepared for the "longest protest ever" and would "not give up" until the UK rejoined the European Union.

Supporters of Brexit celebrated the moment the UK left the EU with a party in Parliament Square on Friday.

But grandfather Mr Bray has protested outside Parliament every day MPs have sat since 5 September 2017 - and has become something of a tourist attraction in his own right.

The 50-year-old has interrupted live broadcasts with his shouts of "stop Brexit", and gate-crashed interviews with placards.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMr Bray said he had been assaulted, spat on, had flags burnt, and had death threats during his time campaigning to remain

While Mr Bray has scaled down his campaign there is no sign of him going away any time soon.

"This is my first ever protest, I was never that political before, but so much is at stake," he said.

The self-employed rare coin dealer has vowed to remain outside Parliament for as long as it takes for the UK to rejoin - but only every Wednesday, when Prime Minister's Questions is held.

"It is not a question of if or when - we will join the EU. It could be 10 years, it could take 50 years, it could turn into one of the longest protests ever."

His interruption of Theresa May's farewell speech with his "stop Brexit" cry led to her replying "I think not", while her replacement as Prime Minister Boris Johnson told him to "put a sock in it".

He sold some high value coins to fund the campaign and made merchandise to sell.

"I sold some of my collection, rather than leave them to the children I thought I would use it to leave them a better future," he said.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPolice tried to stop Mr Bray playing anti-Brexit songs through an amplifier on the day MPs were voting on Theresa May's withdrawal deal

A crowdfunding campaign raised more than £70,000 for him and other protesters to rent a flat near Parliament.

They moved there after living on the same street as pro-Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg - who he said he bumped into "quite often".

Mr Bray said some of the hardest times were during the Beast from the East in 2018, when he said a member of the House of Lords came outside to give him a coat.

"I've been spat at a few times, assaulted a few times, all very minor things.

"It does take a toil, but the hatred drives me on more than the support," he said.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMr Bray said he bumped in Jacob Rees-Mogg "quite often" when they lived on the same street
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMr Bray has locked heads with pro-Brexit supporters outside the Houses of Parliament during his protest

In his home county, Neath Port Talbot, 56.8% of people voted to leave during the poll in June 2016.

Mr Bray stood in the Cynon Valley for the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 general election, but only secured 949 votes.

"People just have different views," he said. "We need the government to know we are not giving up and not going away".

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMr Bray has regularly interrupted live broadcasts with shouting and placards

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