The part leaders of Westminster said that politicians should watch their speech,
the equality watchdog has said.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) expresses concern in a letter about hate
attacks that have taken place since the UK voted to leave the EU in June.
It calls for “accurate information and respectful debate” from politicians.
The Home Office mentioned that extra money had been allocated to fight hate crime.
The commission’s letter, which is co-signed by its chairman David Isaac and chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath,
said politicians had spoken about “the need to heal the country and bring people together” following the UK’s EU referendum.
But instead, it said “there is growing concern that the divisions on a range of big questions are widening and exacerbating
tensions in our society”.
It mentioned the many racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic attacks on the streets.
and reports of hijabs being pulled off, all of which it described as “stains on our society”.
EHRC chairman Mr Isaac emphasied it was about protecting all people and that human rights were for everyone not just the minorities.
“We do need to ensure we come up with the right solutions for Britain when we leave the European Union.
We know there are people who feel disenfranchised,” he told BBC Breakfast.
He expressed that the media had a role to play but sometimes coverage was really unsympathetic and misleading.
‘ The Defining moment’
The commission, which is an independent statutory body that advises on equality and human rights law, said:
“We are concerned that attacks on supporters of both sides of the Brexit debate have polarised many parts of the country.
“There are those who used, and continue to use, public concern about immigration policy and the economy to legitimise hate.
“The vast majority of people who voted to leave the European Union did so because they believe it is best for Britain.
The commision said that Brexit was the “defining moment”. The focus of it
was on the economic and trading implications, but there should also be a discussion on what values we hold as a country.
The government’s aborted plan to demand companies set out the proportion of
foreigners they employ , has taken criticism from the letter. This was announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative Party conference in October.
It said “politicians of all sides should be aware of the effect on national mood of their words and policies,
even when they are not enacted”.
It suggested there should be a review of the sentences for hate crimes in England and Wales.
Home Office figures released in October showed racist or religious abuse incidents recorded by police
in England and Wales jumped 41% in the month after the UK voted to quit the EU.
The Home Office said there was “absolutely no excuse” for such offences and
extra money had been allocated to tackle the issue.