A SPEECH by Ann Widdecombe comparing leaving the EU to slaves rising up against their owners has been branded "shameful".

South West Brexit MEP Ms Widdecombe's outburst came in a speech to the European Parliament.

She said quitting Europe was like oppressed people turning on the oppressors, slaves against their owners and the peasantry against the feudal barons.

The region's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said some British MEPs were in tears listening to the rant.

She added: "It is one of the most shameful episodes I have witnessed in my five years there.

"Constituents have told me how ashamed she has made them feel, how this attitude and expression of hatred does not represent their values or the South West of England.

"This sort of odious rhetoric may energise Brextremist activists, but it threatens the chances of negotiating a positive future trading relationship with our European neighbours.

"It therefore threatens the livelihoods of South West farmers and fishermen who depend on European export markets.

"She has used them as pawns in her vitriol towards Europe’s elected representatives.

"Anybody who values our place in the world will hang their head in shame after witnessing this humiliating incident."