Brexit aftermath: Politics in Europe

British govt 'will not tolerate intolerance'

LONDON • Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman yesterday said the government "will not tolerate intolerance" after a series of racist incidents were reported following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

"We should be absolutely clear that this government will not tolerate intolerance... intimidating migrants, telling them they need to go home," his spokesman told journalists.

The Polish Embassy in London earlier said it was "shocked and deeply concerned" by incidents of abuse directed at the Polish community.

They include the posting of laminated cards reading "Leave the EU - no more Polish vermin" to members of the Polish community in Huntingdon, near Cambridge, on Saturday and reports of racist graffiti scrawled on a Polish community centre in Hammersmith, London.

"We would like to thank for all the messages of support and solidarity with the Polish community expressed by the British public," the embassy said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday placed the city's police force on alert following the incidents. He said he took "seriously my responsibility to defend London's fantastic mix of diversity and tolerance".

"I've asked our police to be extra vigilant for any rise in cases of hate crime, and I'm calling on all Londoners to pull together and rally behind this great city. It's also crucial that we don't demonise the 1.5 million people in London who voted for Brexit, we must respect their decision and work together now to get the best deal for London."

Mr John O'Connell, from anti-racism group Far Right Watch, said they had recorded over 90 incidents in the last three days, ranging from "verbal abuse up to physical violence".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2016, with the headline 'British govt 'will not tolerate intolerance''. Subscribe