The People’s Vote campaign has been accused of “overestimating” by Brexiteers after claiming one million people took part in a march through London in support of a second referendum.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators walked from Park Lane to Parliament Square on the ‘Put It To The People March’ holding placards which read ‘Brexit is Rubbish’, ‘Revoke Article 50’ and ‘We Love EU’.
The demonstration followed the launch of an online petition calling on the Government to revoke Article 50 which last night had been signed by four million people.
People’s Vote, the campaign group which organised the rally, said more than one million people took part and it was one of the biggest protests in British history.
The group has previously been accused of trying to mislead politicians and voters about its level of support.
A debriefing document prepared by the Greater London Authority put the number of attendees at October’s People’s Vote rally at 250,000 – significantly below the campaign group’s claim that they were joined by more than 700,000 people.
MPs have now criticised the group’s latest turnout claims and suggested the group are spreading “dubious” figures.
Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough and part of the Brexit select committee, told The Telegraph: “I’m not really sure it can be called a People’s March – it’s hardly a march and more of a social gathering.
“I very much doubt the turnout figure is correct given they got their numbers wrong before.
“There were 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU, so the protesters don’t represent the country as a whole.”
Marcus Fysh, Conservative MP for Yeovil, told The Telegraph: “They’ve obviously developed this march as a propaganda exercise so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had overestimated their turnout figure.
“Let’s be honest – they are marching against democracy and the implementation of a democratic referendum result.
“They are trying to set up a second vote where Remain is on the ballot. A ‘final say’ is not what they want – they want to reverse the result.
“This is a putsch that is going on this week.”
The protest comes after the European Union agreed to delay the UK’s departure. Meanwhile more than four million people have signed a petition calling on the Government to cancel Brexit.
People’s Vote claimed there were so many people at the march that some protesters were at a standstill for ‘at least an hour’.
A spokesperson said: “Our estimate is based on professional expert advice and whatever the exact number, there can be no doubt that this ranks as one of the greatest protests – possibly the biggest ever – that this country has ever seen.
“We have no doubt that this march is bigger than the last with our early estimate putting the size of the crowd at around 1 million.”
The day’s activities were kicked off by the unfurling of a large banner on Westminster Bridge that read “Love socialism, hate Brexit”.
March attendees included Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Labour MP David Lammy and Sherlock Holmes star Eddie Marsan.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called for Article 50 to be revoked, telling crowds: “With days to go we’re in danger of falling of the cliff, which will have catastrophic consequences.”
Ms Sturgeon told protesters that the Prime Minister had pitched “parliament against the people”.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson told the crowd: “At every turn we have been ignored. At every stage Theresa May has doubled down rather than reaching out.
“She has made it impossible for anyone who cares about jobs, about solidarity at home and abroad, about friendship across borders and between communities to support this Brexit.”
The London march coincided with pro-Brexit campaigners continuing their March To Leave hike from Sunderland to the capital.
They hope to arrive on March 29 – the original Brexit day.
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage told around 200 Brexit supporters that Theresa May had reduced the nation “to a state of humiliation”.