Ruth speaks after the referendum result

‘The European referendum campaign has been aggressive and it has been divisive.

The Leave campaign contributed to the debate on the referendum by demonising Syrian refugees who are fleeing war, in a poster campaign. Just a few weeks ago my friend, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered on the way to her surgery, we have truly seen the ugly side to politics.

In amidst our debates about immigration, it seems we have forgotten that it is not just a statistic, these are human beings. Human beings with feelings, who are feeling threatened, unwelcome and scared in our country.

Yesterday, my office dealt with emails and phone calls from constituents really concerned about the direction that our country is going in. One woman was sobbing down the phone to a member of my staff and said that if the economy is trashed as a consequence of leaving the European Union, at least we may have a way back from that but if society is ruined, there is no going back.

Today, I am horrified to hear that this prejudice exists in our own borough. It seems some people need reminding that Hounslow is a diverse and vibrant borough with so much to offer. I hope that we can stand together united against attacks on our community.

I am asking all of us to be extra vigilant and stand up to racist, xenophobic behaviour. The legacy of the referendum cannot be a Britain more divided, it cannot be a Britain where children go to school crying for fear of being deported and it cannot be a Britain where people of all races and backgrounds no longer feel safe.’