As reports of hate crime in the South West soar, Molly has warned the European Parliament of an alarming increase in racist attacks since the EU referendum and says it has emboldened a minority who are seeking to undermine democracy.

Her speech to the European Parliament came as Avon and Somerset chief constable, Andy Marsh, revealed that hate crime had more than doubled since England voted to leave the EU. Speaking in the Parliament, Molly said:

“During the referendum campaign I argued that the European Union has played a vital role in underpinning stability and democracy across our continent. We should not take our democratic rights for granted and I am shocked by the instability and divisions that the vote to leave, and the campaign itself, have caused in my country.”

Molly went on to say: “Within the current wave of hostility against the European Union there are forces whose intention is to undermine democracy itself.”

During the referendum campaign, Molly was on the receiving end of anger and intimidation. She said:

“I have never previously experienced such rage; it felt to me that this was being deliberately unleashed by those whose currency is the politics of hate. The Leave Campaign’s deplorable use of fearmongering around immigration and asylum seekers has undoubtedly fuelled this hatred. The vote to leave the EU seems to be offering legitimacy to the vile views and behaviour of the far right.

Molly is urging people to stand together to defend democracy and work ever harder to create communities of tolerance and respect. She is urging people to show their support by wearing a safety pin as a symbol of solidarity against racism [3]. Molly says:

“I have every confidence that the vast majority of people in the South West find the views and actions of racists repugnant. I believe most decent minded people will want to work to create a tolerant and respectful society.”

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