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Leading the way in tackling hate

Tower Hamlets Council’s ‘No Place for Hate’ campaign has scooped a prestigious award at the National No2H8 Crime Awards 2018 for its work in tackling hatred, intolerance and prejudice.

TV presenter and social commentator, June Sarpong (MBE) gave the council the Upstanding Organisation Award 2018 for making “a significant impact on countering intolerance, hate and bigotry” in the borough.

The panel of judges heard how the campaign, which has run for ten years, had been ‘instrumental in curbing right wing extremist activities and promoting peaceful coexistence between Tower Hamlets’ diverse communities.’

They were impressed that the council had worked with residents to tackle groups, such as Shariah Patrol and Britain First, by replacing inflammatory material with No Place for Hate stickers and hosting vigils to condemn terrorist attacks in the UK.

A borough-wide pledge to reject discrimination and hate also has the support of thousands of residents and local celebrities, including Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:

“This campaign brought together council staff and our residents to stamp out intolerance and reject divisive groups that spread hate. I am pleased that this important work has received national acclaim. The diversity of our communities is one of our greatest strengths.”

Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet member for community safety and equality added:

“This campaign brings so much positivity to our local communities. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to tackle all types of hate, and I am delighted that they have received recognition for it.”

Supporting the awards, Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP Statement said:

“These awards are a powerful opportunity to promote what is positive in British society. We are lucky to live in a diverse, tolerant and open society and the people that we celebrate tonight have taken a stand for these important principles. Just as hate crimes impact right across our communities, those who confront such prejudice come from a wide range of faiths and backgrounds and we must take heart from that.”

The No Place for Hate team is not sitting on its laurels. It is providing support to EU residents living in Tower Hamlets as part of the Brexit Commission, as the council and its partners step up preparations for the UK’s departure from the European Union.

More than one in seven residents in Tower Hamlets, some 41,000 people, are from the remaining 27 EU states.

Mayor Biggs announced the establishment of the Commission at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, 25 July.