Tim Farron and Caroline Pidgeon visited the Polish centre in Hammersmith to show solidarity with the Polish community and to make clear that xenophobic attacks it suffered recently will not be tolerated.
The attack on the Polish Social and Cultural Association in Hammersmith was just one of numerous racist and xenophobic incidents reported in the week since the Brexit vote. The Liberal Democrat leader and London Assembly member were given a tour and met numerous people from the London Polish community, as well as staff from the Polish embassy.
Tim Farron said: “We must send the message that racist thugs cannot get away with intimidating any of the diverse communities of the UK. One of Britain’s great strengths is its mix of cultures, and despite the referendum result we must ensure that all citizens are made to feel safe.
“Some of the racist campaign posters and disgusting claims by Nigel Farage and co in the referendum campaign have unleashed something very dangerous, as I warned at the time. This has led to some thinking that racist behaviour is acceptable. It isn’t, and Nigel Farage shares the blame for making our streets less safe.”
The Polish centre has been inundated with flowers, cards and messages of goodwill since the attack.
“The excellent people who staff this centre have taken great comfort from the support they have received from Britons up and down the country. The centre is a hugely impressive space and welcomes other communities into its heart. On my visit a local primary school was using its theatre to practice for a play. It is multi-cultural Britain at its best and must be protected.”