Mayor calls on Londoners to stand together against hate crime
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
"Last week the country voted to leave the European Union but London voted to stay.
"In every corner of our city, including those few areas where the majority voted to leave, people of all nationalities, races and religions live cheek by jowl, in harmony.
"I'm proud of our famed and well-deserved reputation for diversity. We don't just tolerate our differences, we celebrate them. Many people from all over world live and work here, contributing to every aspect of life in our city. I say to them all, you are, and you will continue to be, welcome in London and in all our communities.
"As your Mayor, I take seriously my responsibility to defend London's fantastic mix of diversity and tolerance. So it's really important we stand guard against any rise in hate crimes or abuse by those who might use last week's referendum as cover to seek to divide us. I've asked our police to be extra vigilant for any rise in cases of hate crime, and I'm calling on all Londoners to pull together and rally behind this great city.
"While I'm Mayor, addressing hate crimes will be a priority for the Met. We will have a zero-tolerance approach to any attempt to hurt and divide our communities.
"It's also crucial that we don't demonise the 1.5 million people in London who voted for Brexit. While I and millions of others disagreed with their decision, they took it for a variety of reasons and this shouldn't be used to accuse them of being xenophobic or racist. We must respect their decision and work together now to get the best deal for London"
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: "London is a diverse, global city where people from many different backgrounds live and work side-by-side in safety. That hasn't changed in the past few days but if people do have any concerns they should let the police know. We will investigate vigorously any reports of crime motivated by hatred. "