Europe

Ex-Conservative Party chair switches sides on EU referendum

  • FILE - In this June 16, 2016 file photo, Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage poses for the media in front of an EU referendum campaign poster in London. British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Sunday June 19, 2016 of the dangers of embracing "leave" campaigner Nigel Farage's vision of Britain ahead of the country's referendum on its European Union membership. (Philip Toscano/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    FILE - In this June 16, 2016 file photo, Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage poses for the media in front of an EU referendum campaign poster in London. British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Sunday June 19, 2016 of the dangers of embracing "leave" campaigner Nigel Farage's vision of Britain ahead of the country's referendum on its European Union membership. (Philip Toscano/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, centre, and  Labour Party, Member of Parliament Harriet Harman during their tour of the BMW Mini plant in Oxford England, while on a "Remain" EU referendum campaign visit Monday June 20, 2016. Britain goes to the polls in a referendum on Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the EU. (Leon Neal/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, centre, and Labour Party, Member of Parliament Harriet Harman during their tour of the BMW Mini plant in Oxford England, while on a "Remain" EU referendum campaign visit Monday June 20, 2016. Britain goes to the polls in a referendum on Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the EU. (Leon Neal/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during his tour of the BMW Mini plant in Oxford England, while on  a "Remain" EU referendum campaign visit Monday June 20, 2016. Britain goes to the polls in a referendum on Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the EU. (Leon Neal/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during his tour of the BMW Mini plant in Oxford England, while on a "Remain" EU referendum campaign visit Monday June 20, 2016. Britain goes to the polls in a referendum on Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the EU. (Leon Neal/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

A former Conservative Party chair has switched sides in Britain's upcoming European Union referendum, accusing campaigners promoting an exit from the 28-nation bloc of peddling hate and xenophobia.

Sayeeda Warsi said Monday that moderate voices in the "leave" campaign have been drowned out.

Warsi is one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in Britain. She said her decision was sparked by a poster depicting a crowd of migrants walking through Europe with a warning in capital letters that said: BREAKING POINT.

Warsi told the BBC that "this kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink xenophobic racist campaign may be politically savvy or politically useful in the short term, but it causes long-term damage to communities."

Campaigners for "leave" were bemused by her decision, saying they weren't even aware she had been a supporter.