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British MP Quits Pro-'Brexit' Campaign to Protest 'Hate'

FILE - Former chair of Britain's Conservative party Sayeeda Warsi accuses EU opponents of 'hate and xenophobia'.

The former chair of Britain's Conservative party has quit the so-called "Brexit" campaign to leave the European Union, after accusing EU opponents of "hate and xenophobia."

News of the resignation came early Monday, with Sayeeda Warsi telling reporters she decided to quit the "leave" movement after viewing a new campaign poster circulating ahead of Thursday's vote. A daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Warsi was the first Muslim woman to hold a cabinet-level position in British government.

The poster shows images of migrants and refugees huddled on the border of Slovenia, over the caption "Breaking Point." Anti-EU leader Nigel Farage unveiled the image last week. The poster has been widely criticized, with conservative Finance Minister George Osborne likening it to "literature used in the 1930s."

"I can't go on supporting this," Warsi told The Times newspaper.

Her decision comes with polls showing British voters evenly split between those who favor leaving the 28-nation EU bloc and those who want to stay.

Her change of heart also comes just days after the assassination of British MP Jo Cox -- a murder that shocked Britain and reverberated across the European continent and beyond.

Cox, and outspoken advocate for migrants and refugees, was killed Thursday by a seemingly deranged EU opponent who later identified himself in court with the statement "My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain."

Warsi was a junior Foreign Office minister under Prime Minister David Cameron until she resigned in protest of government policy on the Israel-Gaza war of 2014.