The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has slammed the referendum campaign, claiming it caused “an out-welling of poison and hatred that I cannot remember in this country for very many years”.
“It is essential…to challenge the attacks, the xenophobia and the racism that seem to have been felt to be acceptable, at least for a while” continued the head of the Church of England in the House of Lords today.
Mr. Welby claimed his excoriating attack was aimed at “both sides”. Yet, he focused on the conspiracy that Brexit has caused a frenzied racist uprising across the nation, which has been used to attack the supposedly “xenophobic” Leave campaign.
“The issues of immigration, the issues of the hatred expressed to those who may have been here for two or three generations, are not to be solved simply by pulling up the drawbridge,” he added.
The “hatred” and “attacks” Mr. Welby is believed to be referring to were reported to the police’s “hate crime” website after Remain campaigners mounted a huge social media push to encourage anecdotal reporting which could be blamed on supporters of Brexit.
However, the police have said, more than once, that the surge in “reporting” does not necessarily equate to a surge in attacks and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton insisted that although “we are seeing an increase in reports [emphasis added] of hate crime incidents to True Vision, the police online hate crime reporting site…this is similar to the trends following other major national or international events.”
In his speech, the Archbishop said that the solution to the “hatred” was more multicultural events and initiatives. He added:
“Last week, just over a week ago at Lambeth Palace we had an iftar – the breaking of the fast at the end of the fasting day of Ramadan – in which I shared with the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, and with the Chief Rabbi.
“We had over a hundred young people of every faith and of no faith, and that sense of hope and energy and a future was one that carried through the rest of the week. It is there, and we can reach for it,” he said.