“It’s a double-edged sword – building solidarity through petitions is very important but I absolutely believe that in and of themselves they don’t lead very far,” she said. The proportion of people taking part in protests had doubled but remained small, at just 6 per cent. More than one in ten Londoners had taken part in a protest within the past year, the report added, and among Remain voters the proportion was also higher, at 9 per cent. She said that it had become a panacea for people who want to engage with politics without the risk that comes with more traditional forms of activism, such as protesting on the streets. The number of people signing online petitions has almost tripled as people turn to “clicktivism” to vent their frustration with politics. According to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation, the proportion of people who said they had filled out a petition within the past year increased from 21 per cent in 2015 to 56 per cent in 2016. The report suggested that disgruntlement with events such as Brexit might have driven more people to online activism. More than a third of respondents said they signed a petition during July – the highest for any month last year. The report suggested that this could be down to “the EU referendum vote towards the end of June and the spate of protest petitions following”.The majority of those signing petitions had been Remain voters, the study found, with 62 per cent saying they had done so in the past year compared to 45 per cent of Leave voters. The figures show that the proportion of people who had signed a petition in the past year was highest among young people. Almost two thirds of those aged 16 to 24 had done so, compared to less than half of over-65s. Dr Lina Dencik, co-director of the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University, which examines the use of data in relation to political activism, said that petition-signing had replaced traditional activism in some areas. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.