Yesterday, Barrister Jolyon Maugham sparked Twitter outrage and an RSPCA investigation when he told his 180,000 followers: “Already this morning I have killed a fox with a baseball bat. “How’s your Boxing Day going?” His actions were immediately condemned as barbaric by animal rights advocates.
The 48-year-old QC tried to justify the incident by saying the RSPCA would have done the same.
However, a spokesman for the animal charity said its officers were “looking into” the incident.
After visiting the lawyer, they reportedly removed the remains of the fox.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can lead to a prison sentence or a fine of up to £20,000.
How fox-killer Maugham claimed there is ‘NO mandate for Brexit’
Under the Animal Welfare Act, causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can lead to prison sentence
It is not the first time Mr Maugham has been at the centre of controversy in the last couple of years.
The Central London-Based high profile lawyer was behind a number of legal challenges against Brexit.
Last year, he claimed there was no “proper mandate to leave the EU” and the Vote Leave campaign should have faced fines and even criminal charges.
Following accusation the Vote Leave campaign overspent in the referendum, the Electoral Commission investigated and concluded there was no wrongdoing.
However, the Good Law Project, set up by Mr Maugham in 2018, sued and the Electoral Commission was forced to reopen its investigation.
Writing in the Guardian, Mr Maugham said: “The immediate consequences of that finding are legal. There should be fines for Vote Leave, and there could well be criminal charges to follow.
The high profile lawyer was behind a number of legal challenges against Brexit
“But an even bigger question is what this means for the referendum result, and the future of our democracy.”
The Remainer said Parliament decided to drop a series of legal rules that normally apply to safeguard votes from cheating.
He continued: “The sad consequence is that – although a judge may yet join the Electoral Commission in deciding Vote Leave broke the law – there is unlikely to be any way in which a court might declare the outcome void.
“Parliament instead left to MPs the job of choosing what to do with the referendum, which Government ministers made clear was ‘advisory’.
“And in normal times, where they acted rationally and on the basis of evidence, this would be enough: it is beyond sensible doubt that there is no proper mandate to leave the EU.”
Most recently, the anti-Brexit campaigner also claimed Boris Johnson had a mandate from a “tiny number of people” to get Brexit done.
During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in October, Mr Maugham called for a Brexit extension, saying: “Parliament is our supreme constitutional actor and the Prime Minister, who has a mandate from a tiny number of people, has to abide by what Parliament wills.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Twitter users reacted to the comments, with one posting: “And Jolyon has a mandate from how many people?”
Another said: “Never mind the rest of us, eh?
A third commented: “Yes the Government should abide by its commitments, especially to 17.4 million people.”
Since the Conservative Party’s triumph in this month’s general election, though, Mr Maugham appears to have come to terms with the fact that Britain is leaving the EU.
Last week, he set up a petition, calling for the Prime Minister to allow British people to have “associate citizenship” of the EU.
In an open letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Maugham said: “We will now, it is clear, leave the EU. Those who did not want this have lost. I understand you believe this to be in the national interest and that you have a democratic mandate for it. But I hope you can understand that for me, and my fellow signatories, it will involve a profound wrench. We will experience it as the loss of an important part of our identity.
“So I write to ask you, respectfully, to take up an initiative your predecessor declined to support in your negotiations on our future relationship with the EU. The initiative is for a form of Associate Citizenship – for those who want it. It will not hinder your negotiations but it would be a hugely significant olive branch to us.”
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt seems to be a fan of the idea – as he tweeted out his support shortly after the letter was published.