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Pro-Brexit group apologises and deletes 'xenophobic' tweet targeting Germany's Merkel

The tweet featured an image of Merkel and invoked Britain’s wartime victories.

Image: DPA/PA Images

PRO-BREXIT CAMPAIGN group Leave.EU has apologised for tweeting an image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel that one MP later described as “xenophobic bile”. 

The image, condemned by cross-party MPs in the UK, was reminiscent of wartime propaganda and read: “We didn’t win two world wars to be pushed around by a Kraut,” alongside a photo of Merkel stood with her arm raised. 

“Angela Merkel’s demand that Britain leaves Northern Ireland to rot inside the customs union is reprehensible and shows the true colours of our supposed ‘European allies’,” it said. 

The tweet was later deleted.

The uproar came after a Downing Street source said Merkel’s demands for Northern Ireland after Brexit had made a deal “essentially impossible“.

In response to the image, Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “Dear Germany and the EU, please accept our apologies and do not be fooled into thinking Leave EU’s xenophobic bile is representative of the UK.

“A clear majority of Brits now oppose Brexit in all its forms. A vast, young and vibrant pro-EU movement in Britain stands with you.”

Michael Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, dissociated himself from “any sort of racist or demeaning language towards Germany” and said he had reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to friendship at a German day of national unity event at the country’s embassy last week.

“The Germans are our friends and our allies, and Germany is a great country,” he told MPs, according to The Guardian. 

Businessman and co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign group Arron Banks issued an apology for the tweet this morning, despite initially defending the image. 

“The Leave.EU team went too far yesterday but the real outrage is the German suggestion that Northern Ireland be separated from the UK,” Banks tweeted. 

“As a result we will delete the post and apologise accordingly…on reflection the point could have been made better.”

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