Fraudulent signatures discovered in EU referendum petition

Around 77,000 fraudulent signatures have been removed from an online petition calling for a second EU referendum.

The online petition has received a number of fake signatures – Photo credit: Flickr, Garry Knight

The House of Commons Petitions Committee, which removed the signatures on 26 June, said that it was continuing to monitor the site for suspicious activity.

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The petition, entitled EU Referendum Rules Triggering a 2nd Referendum, was started by William Oliver Healey more than a month ago, at a time when the polls were indicating a win for the Remain camp.

It calls on the government to establish a rule that if the result is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.

The petition has garnered widespread support since the results of last week’s referendum, where the Leave campaign won by 52% to 48%.

However, the committee was alerted when the addresses of some of the signatories raised suspicions.

For instance, 300 people claimed to be from the British Antarctic Territory, which has no settled population, while 39,000 said they were residents of Vatican City, which has a population of 800.

Helen Jones, chairwoman of the petitions committee said in a statement that the Government Digital Service was taking action to investigate the petition and would remove any further fraudulent signatures.

“People adding fraudulent signatures to this petition should know that they undermine the cause the pretend to support,” she said.

The committee will consider the petition, which now has more than 3.6 million signatures, at its next meeting, when it will decide whether to schedule a debate on the topic.


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