As a record three million Britons and counting have signed a petition calling for a second referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, it has emerged that the man that created it was a far right pro-Brexit campaigner who feared that the Remain camp would win.

Brexit supporter William Oliver Healey, a candidate for the far-right English Democrats Party, told the Evening Standard of his anger that the petition – which will now have to be debated by Britain's parliament – had been "hijacked" by those angered by the decision of British voters to leave the EU.

Healey also explained why he set up the petition in a long post made on the English Democrat's Facebook page. In his post, Healey wrote: "Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the Remain campaign. However, since I am associated with the petition and before the press further associate me with it I felt the need to better clarify my position on the issue even if it looks bad. I am its creator, nothing more," he said.

A House of Commons spokeswoman told the BBC the parliamentary website crashed temporarily on 24 June due to the high volume of people accessing the petition page.

She added that only 22 people had signed the petition at the time the referendum's result was announced.

Over 16 million people voted to remain in the EU in the 23 June referendum, but were defeated 52%-48% by Leave voters, with a turnout of 72.2%.

The result sent shock waves around the world and has raised concerns that the UK itself could break up, with both Scotland and Northern Ireland voting overwhelmingly to stay in the single market.

'Petition hijacked by Remain'

The second EU referendum petition is easily the most popular in the history of the parliamentary website and will be considered for debate by MPs for crossing the 100,000-signature threshold.

It simply states: "We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum."

However, while MPs are likely to debate the petition, they have no legal obligation to act on it.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced following the referendum result that he would step down from his role in October, saying that a new prime minister will invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally begin the Brexit process.

He warned before the vote that there would be "no turning back" if the UK voted to leave the EU.