Ann Widdecombe doubles down on claims leaving EU is like slavery emancipation

Ann Widdecombe has faced criticism after doubling down on her claims about the EU and slavery. Photo

Ann Widdecombe has faced criticism after doubling down on her claims about the EU and slavery. Photo: LBC - Credit: Archant

The Brexit Party MEP for South West England has faced criticism after doubling down on her claim that leaving the EU is comparable to emancipation from slavery.

In July Ann Widdecombe told European parliament that "there is a pattern consistent throughout history of oppressed people turning on their oppressors, slaves against their owners, the peasantry against the feudal barons, colonies against empires, and that is why Britain is leaving.

"It doesn't matter which language you use, we are leaving and we are pleased to be going."

Speaking to Iain Dale on LBC Radio, Ann Widdecombe was asked: "You had a controversial start to the European parliament, you took part in that stunt where you turned your back on the EU anthem, and then you likened the UK's departure from the EU to the emancipation of slaves in your speech.

"That got a lot of adverse comment. Do you still stand by that?"

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Widdecombe replied: "Yes I do. What I said was there is a pattern throughout history whereby the oppressed turn on the oppressors, peastnts turn on feudal barons - was I calling us peasants?

"I also said colonies against empires, and actually that probably comes closest to how I think of it."

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Widdecombe then went on to say "everybody has picked on slavery and not the other two", and said she wasn't necessarily talking about Caribbean slavery.

"What about the Spartacus revolt?" she asked. "It is just straightforwardly an analogy, that's all it was, and yes I stand by it.

"Perhaps I could quote Tony Benn, who said when he arrived at the EU parliament 'I felt like a slave arriving at the gates of Rome'."

One person called her comments "batshit crazy" and another person added that she has "absolutely no idea" what is meant by 'a slave arriving at the gates of Rome'.

Asked if she could understand people's offence to her comments, Widdecombe said: "I have no time for that sort of nonsense at all".

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