The petition calling for a second EU referendum was written by a Brexit supporter
He’s a final year Politics student at DMU
The popular e-petition for a second EU referendum, which crashed repeatedly online last Friday and already attracting more than three million signatures, has been revealed to have been started by a Brexit supporter. William Oliver Healey, a final year Politics student at De Montfort University, started the petition as a joke last November.
William Oliver Healey, the man behind the petition itself, created the petition on 23rd May, a time when the polls suggested that the outcome would be Remain. In a Facebook post, he explained the reason behind starting the petition was because he believed the electoral register was not “100 per cent complete” since in his opinion, “10 million people were removed from the electoral register” and the petition would enable any British citizen or UK residents to vote, including EU citizens who were ineligible to vote.
Announcement of the referendum result on Friday led to hundreds of thousands of signatures on the petition, making it the petition amassing the most signatures than any other on the official government website.
Mr Healey admitted that his “actions were premature” at the time of setting up the petition, but also added that if even he had not started the petition, “it would have been orchestrated by someone on the Remain campaign.” It was believed that those who signed the petition were not only Remain supporters who saw this as hope in the aftermath of the result, but also non-voters and regretful Leave voters.
As the number of signatures has exceeded the 100,000 threshold needed for debate in Parliament, a spokesperson for the House of Commons has said that it would be considered before a committee on the 28th June.