Racist Tirade on Tram Illustrates Rising Hate Fears in UK Amid Brexit

Hate crimes are said to be surging in the wake of the Brexit vote.

ByABC News
June 28, 2016, 1:36 PM
Sadiq Khan attends an official signing ceremony at Southwark Cathedral as he begins his first day as newly elected Mayor of London on May 7, 2016 in London.
Sadiq Khan attends an official signing ceremony at Southwark Cathedral as he begins his first day as newly elected Mayor of London on May 7, 2016 in London.
Yui Mok/WPA Pool/Getty Images

— -- In a video captured this morning that has gone viral in the U.K., two young men shower insults at another man for appearing to be not of English origin, on the Metrolink, a light rail system in Greater Manchester in England.

"Don't chat s--- when you're not even from England, you little f------ immigrant," one of the younger men yells, waving his finger. "Get off the f------ tram now."

The young men cross the car and throw beer on the man before exiting. Other passengers tighten up, some of their mouths hang agape in shock. As the young men exit the tram, a woman's voice springs up over a cacophony of angry voices that call after them.

"To England," she says, her voice quivering, "you are a disgrace!"

The video captures the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the U.K. in the wake of the so-called Brexit vote, as hate crimes are said to have spiked across the country, targeting mostly immigrants and British-born citizens of foreign heritage. Yesterday the National Police Chiefs' Council, an organization representing British police chiefs, announced that hate crimes in the U.K. from last Thursday to Sunday were up 57 percent compared with the same period last month.

Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to serve as mayor of London, is a former human rights lawyer and the son of a bus driver from Pakistan. He has asked the police to be "vigilant" in preventing the further spread of abuse.

"It's 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," he told the press. "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."

Some analysts believe that a backlash against immigrants may have played a role in the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU.

Social media continues to buzz with reports of incidents against immigrants, including natural-born English residents of South Asian descent.

The Muslim Council of Britain — which represents 500 mosques, schools and associations — said in a statement on its website that "over 100 hate incidents" have taken place as a result of the Brexit vote.

Polish immigrants, who work many low-wage jobs in the U.K., have also experienced intimidation in recent days.

Local papers reported on the distribution of signs declaring "No more Polish vermin" in Huntingdon, a town in Cambridgeshire, England. The Polish cultural center in Hammersmith, England, was sprayed with anti-immigrant graffiti, according to police.

The Polish Embassy in the U.K. responded to the incidents with a statement decrying what it called "xenophobic abuse."

Prime Minister David Cameron assailed the spread of hate crimes against immigrants and ethnic minorities in the wake of the Brexit vote in a speech to Parliament on Monday.

"These people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country," he said.