Pressure on Stewart Jackson, former Conservative MP and then chief of staff to Brexit Secretary David Davis, to apologise for his remarks on social media has continued to grow.
Anthony Hobley, who travelled up to London from his home in Surrey for the People's Vote March for the Future, said:
"My step son had been looking forward to going on the People's Vote march for weeks with the rest of his family. But he dislocated his collarbone playing football and the slot for the operation came up at the last minute for last Friday so he couldn't go. I ended up taking four of our kids with me and, we stopped off at Great Ormond Street hospital on the day to see him and his mother. We gave him his own flag so he could feel part of it, he was still really disappointed. The tweet was intended as a sweet gesture to make him feel involved.
"After I put his picture up on Twitter, most of the comments were really nice but I got a few from extreme quarters which I had to block. Then I saw this from Stewart Jackson. I had not really heard of him before and I was surprised to find out he is former Conservative MP and adviser to David Davis when he was running the UK's Brexit negotiations.
"I am calling on him to apologise today, not for me, but for both my family and the tone of political debate in this country. Because comments like these from senior people in political life set the tone of political debate in our country and I believe harm politics in our country. Whatever our views on Brexit we need to talk about the problems of Brexit and the case for a People's Vote by debating the facts and issues, not with schoolyard abuse. I don’t believe people honestly worried about the future of our country should be subject to trolling by senior political figures, especially not when it involves children.
"Stewart Jackson's behaviour is a real contrast to what happened on Saturday when hundreds of thousands of families with their children marched peacefully through London calling for a People's Vote with no disturbances and no arrests. It was a great family friendly day out for families like ours. No one should be calling people names in an attempt to win their argument."
Commenting earlier, Wes Streeting MP, leading supporter of a People’s Vote, said:
“Whatever your views on what’s gone wrong with Brexit, attacking the family of a child recovering from an operation in hospital is a new low. There is a vicious tone to much of our political debate today and that has been often been driven by Brexit supporters like Stewart Jackson. But this latest episode goes far beyond the usual rough and tumble of politics. Stewart Jackson should apologise to this boy and his parents.”