Businessman Arron Banks under fire for joke about Greta Thunberg being in a 'freak yachting accident'

Brexiteer tycoon Arron Banks (right) has come under fire for a threatening tweet aimed at schoolgirl climate activist Greta Thunberg (left) (Pictures: PA)

Brexiteer tycoon Arron Banks has come under fire for a threatening tweet aimed at teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The founder of Leave.EU sent the message in response to a tweet from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas about the 16-year-old’s voyage across the Atlantic on a racing yacht.

Mr Banks shared the post, adding the comment: “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August...”

He has since been blasted by people outraged by his apparent threat aimed at the teen.

Actress Amanda Abbington tweeted: “If you are a grown up, fully-fledged adult and you are mocking this young girl for trying to save the planet then I genuinely feel sorry for you.

“I also think you are incredibly cruel, vicious and arrogant.”

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Caroline Lucas said she had made a formal complaint to Twitter, saying the “vile tweet” and made her “sick to the stomach”.

Another Twitter user said: “You know she’s 16, right?” while another described his comment as “despicable”.

TV and comedy writer James Felton described Mr Banks as “some sort of massive d**khead”, saying: “If your reaction to a teenager not wanting the planet to die in a century is to joke about how you wish she’d die now you might just be some sort of massive d**khead just FYI Arron”.

Mr Banks later defended his post and, in response to another tweet which highlighted the fact the Swedish climate change activist was a child, he said: “Quite and one being used.

“Obviously I don’t hope she encounters a freak yachting accident! I just enjoy watching the ludicrous tweeter mob following the next outrage …”

He also replied to someone accusing him of showing “his true colours”, saying: “It was a joke .. you lefties have no sense of humour …”

Greta, whose “school strikes” have sparked a global protest movement by young people, is embarking on a two-week voyage across the Atlantic on a carbon-neutral racing yacht, the Malizia II.

The move is so she can attend high-profile climate events without using planes or cruise ships which emit greenhouse gas emissions.

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