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Brexit: Racism on the rise since referendum

RACISM ON THE RISE: New research suggests that racists are becoming more confident in the current political climate

RACISM AGAINST black, Asian and ethnic minority people has risen since the Brexit vote, according to new research.

Polling data shared with The Guardian shows that 71 per cent of people from ethnic minorities have said they faced discrimination on the basis of race, compared to 58 per cent in January 2016.

The figures from a survey carried out by Opinium support concerns that racists are becoming more confident in being abusive or discriminatory in the current political climate.

Those from an ethnic minority background who said they had been targeted by a stranger rose from 64 per cent in January 2016 to 76 per cent in February this year, The Guardian reported.

People from a black background reported the highest increase in discrimination. Seventy-four per cent of those surveyed said they had been subjected to abuse or discrimination in February and March of this year, compared to 65 per cent in October 2016 and 59 per cent in January 2016, The Guardian reported.

The survey’s findings reflect rising reports of hate crimes official crime figures. According to Home Office figures, hate crime offences in England and Wales rose 17 per cent to 94,098 in 2017/18.

Responding to the findings, former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who is now a member of Change UK, said: “Not at all surprised by this. The Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaigns have a lot to answer for and their leading lights are still spreading hate and division in our country.”

Today Theresa May announced that she will give MPs the opportunity to vote on whether to hold a second referendum.

“New survey shows what many black and Asian people have already experienced - we're seeing a second Brexit-related racism spike. A #PeoplesVote would bring a third and perhaps the worst. Not a reason not to #takeittothepeople but a reason for us to pause and think,” Lester Holloway wrote on Twitter.

Last week, a court heard that a man who was sentenced to 12 months in jail for painting racist graffiti on the door of his neighbour’s flat, was influenced by Brexit and immigration.

Vaughan Down wrote “No blacks” on Jackson Yamba’s front door. The incident left Yamba’s 10-year-old son “terrified”.

Dowd’s lawyer told the court that “in some way Brexit and immigration was playing on his mind”.

Transparency campaigner Gina Miller has long warned of the increase of racism and discrimination in the wake of the referendum and Brexit.

Last year, Miller told The Voice: “I am a fighter and those voices of bullies, and racism and misogyny which are now coming front and centre in politics and in wider society, I simply cannot let them get away with it.”

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