Brexit vote ‘has changed the tone of racial abuse’

Victory for the Leave campaign has bolded racist feelings, according to a Scots woman attacked on a bus. Picture: Getty

Victory for the Leave campaign has bolded racist feelings, according to a Scots woman attacked on a bus. Picture: Getty

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A Scots woman left “terrified” by alleged racism said she no longer feels like she belongs in her own country.

Lauren Stonebanks, 36, from Edinburgh, said she was on a bus when a woman shouted: “Get your passport, you’re f****** going home.”

Ms Stonebanks, who is half Indo-Caribbean and half white Scottish, said she believes the Brexit vote has made people “bolder” and “changed the tone of things”.

She said: “They now think that 52 per cent of people who voted agree with them, or at least some of them do. It’s also changed the tone. Prior to Brexit there would be no point in her telling me I was going home.

“She might have said something like ‘You lot should be going home, you lot don’t belong here’. But telling me that I am going home, that is definitely a post-Brexit consequence.”

Recalling the incident, which took place on 27 June she said: “I was terrified. She was there, she had three people with her, two men and another woman, and I haven’t had that sort of abuse since the 1980s.

“And that sort of abuse, the stuff I got in the 1980s when I was a child, usually came with physical violence. It took me back to then.”

Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan of Police Scotland’s safer communities department said the force has “not witnessed any increase in the level of reports being received”, adding: “However we acknowledge that often these incidents go unreported.

“I would encourage any person who has been the victim of, or witness to, any type of hate incident to report it.”

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