The leader of the Vote Leave campaign in the EU Referendum Boris Johnson has been called 'gutless' and accused of going 'AWOL' after Britain voted to remove itself from the European Union .

Former foreign editor at The Times newspapers, Martin Fletcher, has also urged the public to hold peaceful protests outside Mr Johnson's house and to send letters to him and fellow prominent Brexiter Michael Gove.

In the lead up to the referendum, Mr Fletcher also said it was Mr Johnson who set the tone of 'mendacious and relentlessly hostile' newspaper coverage in the EU during his time as Brussels correspondent in the 1990s.

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'Gutless Johnson'

Mr Fletcher attacked Mr Johnson in a series of fierce pro-EU posts on Facebook , in which he said: “Send protest letters to the gutless Johnson and Gove (c/o the House of Commons) who have both gone AWOL since the vote.

“Mount silent, peaceful protests outside their homes in Islington and Notting Hill .

“Johnson never really wanted in Brexit in the first place.”

Since the referendum result was announced in the early hours of Friday morning (June 24), Mr Johnson has made only one public appearance at a press conference from the Leave campaign HQ in central London shortly after Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation .

Mr Johnson more recently addressed the public on Brexit through his weekly column in The Telegraph newspaper, published online on Sunday evening (June 26).

Mayor Boris Johnson leaves his home following the EU referendum result (Pic: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

'Britain is a great country'

In the column, the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP said: “This EU referendum has been the most extraordinary political event of our lifetime. Never in our history have so many people been asked to decide a big question about the nation's future.

“Never have so many thought so deeply, or wrestled so hard with their consciences, in an effort to come up with the right answer.

“I believe that millions of people who voted Leave were also inspired by the belief that Britain is a great country, and that outside the job-destroying coils of EU bureaucracy we can survive and thrive as never before. I think that they are right in their analysis, and right in their choice.”

The former Mayor of London added that Britain is still a part of Europe and 'always will be', saying there will be partnership in a number areas including art, science and the environment.

He has also said Britain should be able to successfully introduce a points-based immigration system to tackle what has turned out to be a crucial and divisive issue surrounding the referendum.

'Cartoon caricature of the EU'

But Mr Johnson's absence was noted in the House of Commons on Monday (June 27) where Parliament addressed the earthquake decision for Britain to leave the EU.

Mr Fletcher worked as a Brussels correspondent for The Times in 1999, shortly after Johnson had stopped working there.

He argues that it was Johnson who first set the tone of 'extreme Euroscepticism' that has dominated much press coverage of the EU.

Mr Fletcher said: “He siezed every chance to mock or denigrate the EU, filing stories that were undoubtedly colourful but also grotesquely exaggerated.

“Boris Johnson is now campaigning against the cartoon caricature of the EU he himself created.

“He is campaigning against a largely fictional EU that bears no relation to reality.”

Mr Johnson is the current bookies' front runner to follow David Cameron as Prime Minister and nominations opened on Wednesday (June 29).

Mr Johnson has been approached for comment.