The hairdresser who kickstarted the High Court challenge that has thrown Brexit into turmoil has been forced underground after receiving “vile” hate mail, his lawyer said today.

Deir Dos Santos, 37, who works at a salon in Belgravia, was the first person to lodge a legal complaint against Theresa May’s plan to trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote.

Brazil-born Mr Dos Santos, who holds Brazilian and British passports and lives in Notting Hill, was not in court yesterday to celebrate the landmark victory with Gina Miller and fellow campaigners.

His lawyer David Greene instead read out a statement saying the ruling was “a victory for everyone”.

Legal ruling: Lead claimant Gina Miller outside court (Hannah McKay/EPA)

Mr Dos Santos voted in favour of Britain leaving the EU but launched legal action four days after the June 26 referendum because he wanted to see Brexit happen “legally, fairly and properly”.

Today Mr Greene told the Standard his client now wishes he had taken the option of remaining anonymous before going to court, due to “vile” hate mail from Brexiteers.

“My client is fine, he is really pleased about the result.

"He has always maintained a low profile and now intends to fade back into the shadows. But he also wants to see it through to the end,” said the lawyer.

What is Article 50? - Explained

“He hasn’t got anything to hide, he just doesn’t want any more trouble.”

Mr Greene added: “A lot of people got death threats, threats of violence, abusive phone calls and hate mail from Brexiteers since we started this.

“I got one today calling me a fascist, but I don’t care — we all deserve the right to go through the courts without experiencing fear and intimidation.

"I’ve covered cases with the mafia and IRA  involved in money laundering and they are people who can be violent.

Gina Miller speaking outside court following Brexit ruling

“We don’t want to piss anyone off, we’re just seeking to protect the rights of individuals.

"This is not about stopping Brexit, this is about a process of how we run ourselves as a parliamentary democracy.

“Theresa May thought she could override parliamentary democracy and ride roughshod over our rights.”

He said the campaigners thought they might win but “didn’t know the judges would be quite so firm — they made it clear the Government hadn’t made a case at all.

Theresa May: the PM plans to call the European Commission president today to reassure him Brexit is still on track (AP)

"No one really knows what’s going to happen now.” 

Another backer of the legal challenge, plumbing tycoon Charlie Mullins, a Remainer, said: “I don’t know why the Government are looking to appeal.

"Anyone with half a brain can see they don’t have a case — it’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money. 

“We’ve done a good thing for this country to get some clarity on Brexit and make it as comfortable as possible for everyone.

"I don’t want to change the result, we just don’t want to go out on a hard Brexit and all this uncertainty.”

Comments

or to comment
(Logout)
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.

Community Guidelines

  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

See more