Russell Brand has stirred up a new hornet’s nest of controversy by criticising the decision to hold a minute’s silence to remember the British citizens killed in act of terrorism in Tunisia last week.

38 people, including 30 British holidaymakers, were killed by a gunman on a beach outside a popular hotel resort in Sousse in the North African country last Friday (June 26th), and one week later the British government made the decision to honour their memory by declaring a minute’s silence yesterday (Friday July 3rd).

However, the self-styled activist Brand took to his YouTube site ‘The Trews’ to question what it would achieve. “There's no point in having a minute's silence on Friday - it's a minute of bulls***. What's the truth behind the terrible Tunisia massacre?”

Russell BrandRussell Brand has provoked outrage over his criticism of Friday's minute's silence for the Tunisian massacre victims

Yesterday, flags were flown at half-mast at Buckingham Palace, all government departments, and matches at the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament were delayed or interrupted.

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“On Friday we'll be holding one minute's silence. Does that mean anything or is it just an empty, hollow gesture, part of a general policy of bulls**t, so that our government can continue selling arms around the world and perpetuating a cycle where its own needs are met?”

He finished: “If you respect those people [that died] then demand that your Government stops selling arms to countries on its own human rights abuse list, demand that your government stops carrying out foreign wars on behalf of corporations. It will have a lot more impact than a minute's silence.”

Brand’s stance on the subject drew a great deal of online outrage, including from commenters on the YouTube page and from newspaper columnists. Jeremy Kyle, a popular ITV chat show presenter, was particularly incensed, writing in The Sun on Saturday (July 4th) that Brand’s video “smacked of desperation, while also completely disrespecting the poor innocents who lost their lives just over a week ago.”

He continued: “OK, so you may not want to observe a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to those who died. But to trash their memory and denounce that silence as 'total bulls***' is disgusting.”

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