SANDIP VERMA described the spate in racist attacks up and down the country as “absolutely disgraceful.” Here she talks about her concerns…
“It is really important that the political classes get to understand that they are hugely responsible for the way that they set the tone of politics in this country because now you can see the rise in incidents.
“People think that they have now got the freedom to go out there and make derogatory comments to people who are legitimately here.
“We should all really worry that this is now something they feel they are legitimised in saying. I think we should all come down very, very hard on that.
“We need to have a real hon- est debate amongst not just ourselves but across the whole political spectrum on how we are now going to make sure that communities up and own our country don’t feel like they are isolated and alienated.
“And where we have issues on poor housing, on people needing jobs, we need to address those and ask why they are not being addressed by politicians.”
Speaking on a special edition of Question Time last Sun- day (24), Anna Soubry, MP for Broxtowe, said the debate around immigration, and the whole referendum, had “not been our country’s greatest hour”.
She added that tolerance had been disregarded by some who voted to leave the EU, and now the UK needed to put “hope over hatred”. “I have wit- nessed language on the streets. You know [such as]: ‘Get all these immigrants out.’” The MP said that the last time she noticed such hostility was when she was a student in the 1970s. “I am worried about the state of our nation,” she added. “What has happened is that the tolerance that we are rightly proud to have as part and parcel of our fundamental values has been put aside by too many people. “We have to put hope over hatred and we have to stop preying on prejudice and fuel- ling people’s fears.”