Politics

Brexit Day poster telling neighbours to ‘speak English or leave’ investigated by police

The poster, that was found stuck on fire doors across all 15 floors of Winchester Tower in Norwich on Friday morning – the day the UK formally left the European Union, proudly declared: “We finally have our great country back.” It told residents of the flats that “we do not tolerate” people speaking languages other than English in the building and said those unwilling to do so should leave the UK. Norfolk Police confirmed they were investigating the incident and said they had seized the poster for forensic inquiries.

Addressing residents, the poster said: “The Queens [sic] English is the spoken tongue here.

“If you do want to speak whatever is the mother tongue of your country you came from then we suggest you return to that place and return our flat to the council so they can let British people live here and we can return to what was normality before you infected this one great island.”

The text continued: “You won’t have long till our government will implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve or leave.

“God Save the Queen, her Government and all true patriots.”

In a statement, the police said: “Those posters kept by residents have since been seized for forensic inquiries and we will be working with the council to examine any available CCTV.

“There is no place in society for hatred and intolerance. Nobody should have to face intimidation because of who they are and it is more important than ever that we stand together in the face of hostility.

“We remain committed to helping people feel safe and secure as they go about their lives.

“The matter is being dealt with as a racially aggravated public order incident.”

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Police said no arrests had been made.

Norwich city council also responded to the incident and said they would not tolerate this behaviour.

They wrote on Twitter: “You may have seen a photo of a poster that has appeared in one of our properties.

“Norwich has a proud history of being a welcoming city, and we will not tolerate this behaviour. As soon as we became aware of this incident, we reported it to Norfolk police and they are investigating.

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“We take this very seriously and encourage residents to contact us or the police if they have any concerns.”

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “This letter is chilling. Bigots and xenophobes have been emboldened. Our fundamental values are under attack.”

Mike Stonard, a cabinet member on Norwich City Council, told the Eastern Daily Press: “I absolutely condemn this abhorrent poster.

“Whoever put it there has committed a hate crime, it is as simple as that.

“Many people voted for Brexit for a range of different reasons, however I am sure not many of them will condone this kind of thing.”

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