UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has spoken out about the post-Brexit spike in hate crime. But not to show empathy with the victims. According to Nuttall, the reports are “fabricated” and “overblown”, and simply an excuse to discredit the Leave campaign.
Recent figures released show that, between July and September 2016, there was an average rise across England and Wales of 27%. But this is an average. In Dorset, the figure was up 100%. And another nine areas saw rises over 50%. Furthermore, out of the 44 areas recorded, 32 had the highest quarterly rise since records began in April 2012.
This also includes Staffordshire, where Nuttall is running for parliament in the Stoke by-election.
Nuttall’s relationship with the truth is dubious, to say the least. First, there were claims he lied about his professional football career and having a PhD. Then, there was the case of the house where he claimed he was residing in his Stoke constituency. But it was unoccupied. And most recently, he was forced to admit he’d lied about having close personal friends die in the Hillsborough disaster.
But this hasn’t stopped him from saying the hate crime figures are a lie. Despite the fact that, unlike his own fabrications, they are based on real data. According to Nuttall:
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].
Yet the figures show that not only have they broken records, but they are not abating. The police do say there are spikes after national events. But spikes that break all records are something else entirely.
Nuttall makes an attempt to acknowledge there have been victims. But this is quickly dismissed by describing most of the figures as “overblown”:
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.
And a UKIP spokesman told The Huffington Post:
Anyone can claim something is a hate crime, even if they haven’t witnessed it. It’s terribly easy to to set a hate crime investigation going.
UKIP was never going to take responsibility for its racist Brexit propaganda playing a part in the spike in hate crimes. But attempting to underplay and deny the racist hell that thousands have suffered as a result is insulting and offensive. And we all have to hope that the people of Stoke see through the lies of this vile man.
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