'Mr Stop Brexit' stands down as EU candidate in the name of Remain unity

PUBLISHED: 11:27 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 24 April 2019

Anti Brexit protestor Steve Bray outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

Anti Brexit protestor Steve Bray outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The colourful protester who has photobombed hundreds of politicians with his 'Stop Brexit' message has said that he will stand down as an independent candiadate in the EU elections because the nation must come before politics.

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DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds in Westminster pictured with anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds in Westminster pictured with anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Steve Bray, who has kept the nation alternately cheered or infuriated with his TV antics, had first announced his intention to stand as an independent on Thursday April 18.

READ MORE: Steve Bray to stand in the European elections

He had decided to stand as an independent because he was frustrated that the separate parties in the Remain movement were not unifying in order to keep the far right out, he told The New European.

But he now believes that his own campaign would also have split the vote.

“I realised the implications,” he said.

Steve Bray is protesting against Brexit every day outside Parliament (Photograph: PA)Steve Bray is protesting against Brexit every day outside Parliament (Photograph: PA)

“I realised it was creating division, and I'm not about that.

“We need to create unity.

“It broke my heart not to stand.

“But the nation must come before anything else - before politics, before party.

“It's not about ego, it's about people.”

He also felt like a political campaign would take time away from protesting and that he should continue to focus where he has been so effective so far.

Many of the donors who gave to his political campaign - of about £5,000 - have told him to keep the cash to fund his protest, and he is arranging to return the rest.

“I've only made my notoriety standing here day in, day out,” he said. “This here is my niche.

READ MORE: Meet the anti-Brexit campaigner (literally) behind the news.

“Politics is now second place to coming here and doing protests.

“Somehow we have to galvanise the Remain movement and keep the far right out.

“They are not going to serve us in the EU.

“We don't want people like that representing us - it's taking the mickey.”

He still wishes that Remain politicians would put their internal politics aside and unite for the broader movement.

“I am frustrated that the TIGs did not react when the Lib Dems reached out,” he said, referring to overtures made by Vince Cable, which Change UK have since denied.

“I think people deserve an answer because it disappointed a lot of the Remain movement.

“We need to unite to stop Brexit.”

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