EFEStrasbourg (France)

The president of the European Commission on Tuesday accused several prominent "brexit" leaders of being unpatriotic for resigning after the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union in June.

Jean-Claude Juncker made the comments following the resignation on Monday of Nigel Farage as leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (Ukip) and ex-Mayor of London Boris Johnson's decision not to run in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

"The heroes of "brexit" yesterday are sad heroes today, those who have contributed to the UK's situation, have resigned," Juncker said during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

"Patriots do not resign when things get hard; they stay," he said, adding that although he could understand that "Remain" campaigners might need some time to reflect on the situation, he could see no reason why the "leave" camp would need months of reflection before knowing what to do.

"Instead of forming a plan, they're jumping ship," he said.

The British Conservative Party is due to hold its first round of voting in its leadership election on Tuesday after Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation on June 24.