Published: 27 Jun 2016
Commenting in response to reports of racist incidents following the EU referendum, David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
"Reports that some individuals are hijacking the referendum result to promote racism, hate and division are extremely worrying and should be widely condemned.
Britain has a strong and proud history of valuing diversity and challenging hatred and intolerance. We have important laws to protect people from discrimination, harassment and hate crime. Those who breach the rights of others should be challenged and held to account, and hate incidents should be reported to the police.
The referendum vote showed that the overwhelming majority want to engage in the democratic process, and this is heartening. But the campaign and the result have resulted in divisions in our society which will take efforts to heal. We and our political leaders now need to pull together in the national interest to heal those divisions and unite the country against racism, hatred and intolerance.”
Notes to Editors
- The Commission is currently running a social media campaign to provide information to the public on what constitutes incitement to hatred, and where hate speech can be reported online in England, Scotland and Wales.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission has previously published guidance on how equality and human rights law affects election and referendum campaigning.
- For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 0161 829 8102, out of office hours 07767 272 818.