Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of playing a part in the explosion of hate crimes that followed the EU referendum.

The Labour leader said the infamous ‘go home’ vans she launched as Home Secretary had laid the foundations for the divisive rhetoric used by some Leave campaigners.

In 2013, May dispatched two advertising vans – telling illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest” – to drive around six London boroughs.

The policy, which Labour compared to something from the  “1970s National Front”, was scrapped after it resulted in just 11 people leaving Britain.

But in his speech on Brexit in Coventry today, Corbyn said the initiative left a toxic legacy in the record levels of hate crimes which took place after the EU referendum:

“It was alarming that after the Brexit vote there was a clear rise in xenophobic and racist attacks on our streets.

“The referendum campaign was divisive and some politicians on the Leave side whipped up fears and division in order to further their cause that built on the shameful vans telling immigrants to ‘Go Home’ that the then Home Secretary instructed to trundle round the country stirring up division.

“I remember just after the referendum result receiving a text from a young person in my constituency who had been subjected to abuse in the street for the first time and who was afraid.”

No wonder the number of people from the EU leaving the UK is up and the number coming is down.

The Brexiteers might cheer – but that includes a 90% drop in the number of EU nurses coming to work in our understaffed NHS.

Theresa May isn’t healing divisions in the country, she’s creating them…

MORE: May blames migrants for low wages – after refusing to lift pay cap or back McDonald’s workers

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