UKIP leader claims spike in hate crimes since Brexit is ‘fabricated’
UKIP leader Paul Nutall has claimed the reported spike in hate crimes since Brexit is “fabricated”.
Mr Nuttall told The Independent that such incidents have been “overblown” in a bid to harm the Leave campaign’s victory.
He said: “A lot of that [rise in hate crimes] is fabricated. In fact, we’ve got a paper coming out, specifically focused on London and the hate crime spike.
“What the police said is there tends to be a rise in these types of crime after any national event and then it tails off.
“I’m not sure I buy into [the rise in hate crimes].”
Figures found by LGBT anti-violence charity, Galop, found that hate crimes against LGBT people increased 147% between July and September, compared to last year.
He told the newspaper: “Of course there will be individual instances and people should never be victims of hate crime at all.
“I’ve said this in the chamber in the European Parliament, my heart goes out to those people who have been victims, but I think a lot of this has been overblown specifically to try to rubbish Brexit.”
Official Home Office stats also showed a 41% rise in hate crimes during July 2016, the month after the Brexit vote, compared with the previous year.
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Mr Nutall is currently fighting a very close by-election in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where voters go to the polls next week.
Staffordshire saw a 6% rise in hate crimes between July and September last year, official records show, with 237 recorded hate crimes.
Research by Galop last year found that four in five LGBT people had experienced hate crime.
A quarter had experienced violent hate crime, a third experienced online hate crime and a tenth experienced sexual violence as part of a hate crime.
A spokesperson for anti-racist group Hope Not Hate said: A spokesperson said: “Instead of denying reality, perhaps he should instead be listening to the Community Security Trust, or to Tell Mama, which recorded a 326 per cent rise in anti-Muslim incidents in its latest report, and the National Police Chiefs Council, which revealed a surge in hate crimes post-Brexit.”