BBC star Sue Perkins faces backlash for calling Leave voters ‘headbangers and zealots’

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Sue Perkins made a jibe at former Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to hold the EU referendum in 2016, but the move has heavily backfired. The comedian attempted to mimic Mr Cameron’s Tweet condemning the Government’s decision to slash the UK’s foreign aid budget.

One of Mr Cameron’s legacies as Prime Minister was enshrining the UK’s annual foreign aid commitment into law.

He mandated that the UK must commit 0.7 percent of the country’s gross national income (GNI) each year.

As a result, he took to Twitter to condemn the news the UK will contribute just 0.5 percent in 2021.

He wrote: “I deeply regret today’s decision to break our promise to spend 0.7 percent of GNI on development.”

Mr Cameron then attached a further statement explaining his position.

Ms Perkins decided to reply to the Tweet, in a thinly veiled dig at the former Tory Prime Minister’s decision to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

She wrote: “I deeply regret your decision to hold a referendum on the settled question of Europe to appease headbangers, zealots and quislings.”

The comedian has been heavily criticised for the comment, as it suggests she is mocking the 17.4million people who voted Leave.

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Rebecca Ryan, the Campaign Director for Defund BBC, said: “Sue deeply regrets giving British people – or as she likes to call them ‘headbangers and zealots’ – a say in whether or not the UK should be subsumed into a federal EU. Pesky democracy.”

Political commentator Calvin Robinson also responded, and wrote: “Do you genuinely believe the majority of the voting British public are headbangers, zealots and quislings?

“Is that really how you see your fellow Brits? That’s disappointing, Sue.”

Ms Perkins responded to the campaigner, seeking to clarify her position.

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She said: “Was referring to the ERG and co…”

ERG refers to the European Research Group, a faction of Tory MPs which focuses on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The eurosceptic group is chaired by Mark Francois and includes prominent Tory MPs such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker.

But despite rowing back on her comments, Mr Perkins continued to be criticised by Twitter users.

One person wrote: “But Sue we voted as a country to go out even if we don’t agree with the outcome it’s democracy and democracy is how we role old las.”

A second user said: “Since when was I a headbanger, zealot, or quisling? The referendum was a noble thing and has been very handy in exposing entitled narcissists who think that their vote should count more than others.”

A third person joked: “I deeply regret you ever being told you could present on TV.”

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