Cross party call to heal divisions following EU referendum

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WEST Yorkshire MPs have joined forces to promise action against xenophobic and racist attacks in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

The joint letter signed by 16 Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs appeals for calm following reports of increased attacks and abuse directed at EU migrants and members of ethnic minorities.

It says: “In this turbulent time, we need to act to heal the divisions that have come to the fore in our communities.

“As we move forward in working for the best possible deal for the UK, the discord that we have seen in recent days poses a real and tangible challenge on our streets.

“Whilst there is anger and fear about the future to be found on all sides – we, as the region’s Members of Parliament join together, regardless of our political differences, to appeal for calm and to reassure our communities that we are united in our rejection of xenophobia, racism and the politics of hate.

“As elected representatives we commit to future campaigning that will make people from all backgrounds feel that they belong.

“We are stronger together and in these turbulent times we call on our communities to unite - now more than ever, it is key that we move forward with love and acceptance for all.”

Communities Secretary Greg Clark visited a mosque in London in an attempt to underline the Government’s commitment to tackling the problem.

He said: “After the referendum, with its close result, we must redouble our efforts to come together as One Nation.

“Hateful thoughts can too easily morph into wicked acts. Since Thursday’s result we have seen increasing incidences of xenophobia and racism.

“We have to stand up – we have to stand together - against anyone who would attempt to hijack an exercise in democracy and turn it into something ugly, something pitiful, something racist.”

The letter is signed by:

Paula Sherriff (Labour, Dewsbury)

Yvette Cooper (Labour, Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton)

Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West)

Jason McCartney (Conservative, Colne Valley)

Stuart Andrew (Conservative, Pudsey)

Richard Burgon (Labour, Leeds East)

Craig Whittaker (Conservative, Calder Valley)

Barry Sheerman (Labour, Huddersfield)

Kris Hopkins (Conservative, Keighley)

Rachel Reeves (Labour, Leeds West)

Judith Cummins (Labour, Bradford South)

Naz Shah (Labour, Bradford West)

Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative, Morley and Outwood)

Holly Lynch (Labour, Halifax)

Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell)

Philip Davies (Conservative, Shipley)