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London referendum results: Sadiq Khan bids to reassure London as it votes by 60 per cent for Remain

y555524 June 2016

London voted strongly for Britain to stay in the EU, with just five boroughs backing Leave.

Some 2.26 million people in the capital, or just under 60 per cent of voters, supported Remain.

But Leave won in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Bexley, Hillingdon and Sutton. Voter turnout was 69.7 per cent, lower than in some parts of the country, which may have been partly down to torrential rain causing traffic chaos in the morning and heavy downpours in the afternoon.

Mayor: “These are early days in a monumental moment in our country’s history.

“Londoners should know that over the coming weeks, months and years, I will work with the Government and businesses in our city to ensure London continues to be the best place in the world for business, creativity and innovation — and that London continues to be a great city in which to live, work and raise a family.”

However, Brent North Labour MP Barry Gardiner said: “We have started a nuclear chain reaction in which no one knows the outcome.”

In many areas, including  Wandsworth, Lambeth, Haringey, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden, Islington and Southwark, the Remain vote was at least 70 per cent.

But Brexit won in Havering, with 69.7 per cent, Bexley 63 per cent, Barking and Dagenham 62.4 per cent, Hillingdon 56.4 per cent and Sutton 53.7 per cent.

Foreign journalists had gathered at London’s declaration centre in the City’s Guildhall, and as the night drew on it became clear that even the capital was divided over Britain’s future.

London returning officer Barry Quirk said the heavy rain and flooding had caused a delay in counting votes.

There was also a short hold-up in collecting Lambeth ballot papers after a crash between a fire engine and a bus caused traffic chaos in Brixton.

The City of London, the first district to return a result, voted by 3,312 to 1,087 to Remain.

After its votes were finally counted, Lambeth also declared overwhelmingly to Remain with 111,584 people voting to stay.

The final overall declaration for  London was made at 6am when Mr Quick announced 2.26 million Londoners voted to Remain in the EU against 1.5 million Leavers.

A total of 3.7 million Londoners cast their ballots yesterday from an eligible 5.4 million, one of the highest turn-outs in any London vote.

Earlier, in Wandsworth, which voted Remain by 75 per cent, Conservative MPs spoke of their “relief” that the EU campaign was over but this was before the national result to Leave came in.

A total of 118,463 in the borough cast ballots to Remain while 39,421 voted to Leave, with an overall turnout of 71.98 per cent.

Putney MP Justine Greening, the Overseas Aid Secretary, and health minister Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, said they regretted the Brexit campaign’s focus on immigration, but paid tribute to young Londoners who turned out to vote for the first time.

Ms Greening said: “If you see young people coming through from the electorate, it may start to change the dynamics of our politics in a way that’s good.” She also called for her party, which has been bitterly divided throughout the campaign, to unite whatever the result.

“It was a referendum, people were bound to be on different sides. You have to respect the result and get on with things,” she added.

The count at Wandsworth town hall was delayed because some ballot boxes arrived later than expected due to the extreme weather, with the result being announced at about 2.30am.

In Croydon, the result was closer, with Remain winning by 54.3 per cent to 45.7 per cent.

Shortly before 2am, Islington voted to Remain with a high turn-out of over 70 per cent.

In Canary Wharf, the mood at the Tower Hamlets count could only be described as bleak among Remain campaigners.

By 3am, they were hunched around a live news feed, fearing the worst.

By 4am, many had their heads in their hands at the looming nationwide win for Brexit, as Tower Hamlets’ chief executive Will Tuckley announced  the local result of a 67.5 per cent win for Remain.