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Nigel Farage turns his back on the EU anthem at the opening of the European Parliament

The Ukip leader led a protest against the European Parliament by standing the wrong way round during Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

Nigel Farage doesn’t like the EU. I think we’ve established that by now, haven’t we?

But just in case we weren’t completely sure, Farage and some of his MEPs “turned their backs” on the orchestra as they played the EU’s unofficial anthem – Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – in the European Parliament chamber at the official opening of the new session in Strasbourg. Watch:

As heroic protests go, it’s not exactly Gandhi and the salt march, is it? As the camera pans round the room, it just looks like some people got confused and stood the wrong way round.

Sorry, Nigel – your message of resistance to the EU in all its forms rather lost its bite when you became a member of its parliament and accepted an MEP’s £79,000 salary + expenses.

I'm a mole, innit.

David Lammy. Photo: Getty
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David Lammy calls for parliament to overturn the EU referendum result

The Labour MP for Tottenham said Britain could "stop this madness through a vote in Parliament".

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, has called on parliament to stop Brexit.

In a statement published on Twitter, he wrote: "Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. 

"The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign's platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn't voted to Leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson."

Lammy's words follow a petition to re-run the referendum, which has gathered 1.75 million signatures since Friday.

However, the margin of victory in the referendum - more than a million votes - makes it unlikely party leaders would countenance any attempt to derail the Brexit process. On Saturday morning, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there should be no second referendum. Tory leader David Cameron has also accepted the result, and triggered a leadership election.

It is true, though, that had Britain's EU membership been decided in parliament, rather than by a referendum, there would have been an overwhelming vote to Remain. Just 138 Tory MPs declared for Leave, compared with 185 for Remain. In Labour, just 10 declared for Leave, versus 218 for Remain, while no Lib Dem, Scottish Nationalist, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein or SDLP MPs backed Leave.

Rob Ford, an academic who has studied Ukip voters, said Lammy's call was "utter madness":