Nigel Farage and the Leave.EU campaign have been reported to police for inciting racial hatred.
The complaint, along with 40,000 signatures on an online petition, was handed to police in north London on Wednesday and given a crime reference number.
Organiser Zack Newman launched the petition after Brexit campaigners unveiled a controversial poster for the EU referendum.
The poster, launched by Farage in the final days of the campaign, showed a column of migrants walking through the European countryside – along with the slogan ‘Breaking Point’.
Many anti-racism campaigners at the time pointed out the visual similarities between the poster and a Nazi propaganda film.
Newman’s complaint asks police to investigate whether comments made by Farage and others in the Leave.EU camp were ‘systematically and purposefully designed to incite and stir up fear and intolerance of immigrants in order to procure votes’.
Hate crime in the UK spiked around the EU referendum, with 42% more incidents reported in the last two weeks of June than during the same period last year.
In the week immediately following the referendum result on June 23, there was a 500% increase in reported hate crimes.
Complainants allege that this spike in hate crime was a ‘direct consequence’ of inflammatory rhetoric during the Brexit campaign.
They pointed to guidance on the conduct of the referendum that was issued by the Electoral Commission, which advised participants that it is an offence under the Public Order Act 1968 to publish or distribute material intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.