Swiss Cottage mum’s pro-Europe Hug a Brit campaign goes viral

PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:20 14 April 2016

Tessa Szyszkowitz cuddles up to our  photographer Nigel Sutton as part of the #hugabrit campaign to persuade Britain to stay in Europe

Tessa Szyszkowitz cuddles up to our photographer Nigel Sutton as part of the #hugabrit campaign to persuade Britain to stay in Europe


An Austrian journalist from Swiss Cottage has launched a campaign to “shower British people in love” to persuade them to remain in Europe.

Mother-of-three Tessa Szyszkowitz, who has lived in Swiss Cottage for five and a half years, came up with the “Hug a Brit” social media campaign with fellow Europeans in an attempt to convince people to vote “Remain” in the Brexit referendum in June.

The campaign has gone viral this week on Twitter, Facebook and instagram with selfies posted by Europeans hugging their British friends under the hashtags #hugabrit and #pleasedontgouk.

Ms Szyszkowitz, 48, said: “We are unable to vote in the referendum so wanted to do something positive to express how we feel about Britain leaving the EU.

‘‘We started thinking of ways to do this ten months ago and came up with this campaign. We are astounded at how it has taken off. It has created quite a storm and injected some positive energy into the whole debate, which we felt had been very negative.”

As our photographer Nigel Sutton arrived to meet Ms Szyszkowitz at a cafe in Swiss Cottage, she managed to snap a #hugabrit selfie with him for the campaign’s website,

The website has the message: “We love you. You are part of Europe. Please don’t leave us. Please don’t go.

“Our message is not about statistics.

“We just don’t want the UK to divorce us. We feel that we belong together.

“Our message comes from our hearts.”

See more Hug a Brit pictures here.

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