UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been accused of poor taste for claiming the campaign for a British exit from the European Union has been won "without a single bullet being fired".
His comments were widely criticised, coming just eight days after Labour MP Jo Cox was shot dead on the way to her constituency surgery in West Yorkshire.
In an apparent victory speech in central London just after 4am on Friday, Farage said he believed the Brexit campaign had won, adding that 23 June would "go down in our history as our Independence Day".
Broadcasters including ITV and BBC have since called a victory for the Leave campaign.
"If the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people," Farage, a long-term anti-EU campaigner, said.
"We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption, and deceit, and today honesty, decency, and belief in nation, I think now is going to win.
"And we'll have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired."
The UKIP leader also said he hoped other countries would follow Britain's lead and leave the EU.
"I hope this victory brings down this failed project and leads us to a Europe of sovereign nation states trading together, being friends together, cooperating together – and let's get rid of the flag, the anthem, Brussels, and all that has gone wrong."
Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Siraj Datoo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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