Ethnic minorities in Britain are facing rising and increasingly overt racism, with levels of discrimination and abuse continuing to grow in the wake of the Brexit referendum, new nationwide research reveals. Seven in 10 ethnic minority people now report having faced racial discrimination, compared to 58 per cent before the EU vote in January 2016, according to polling data seen by The Guardian . It comes amid rising concern at the use of divisive rhetoric in public ahead of this week’s European parliament elections, where some leading candidates, including UKIP’s Carl Benjamin and independent Tommy Robinson, have records of overt racism. Is Hong Kong racist? Prejudice against ethnic minorities, especially Africans, undermines city’s claim to be truly international The survey by Opinium suggests racists are feeling increasingly confident in deploying overt abuse or discrimination. The proportion of ethnic minorities saying they had been targeted by a stranger rose from 64 per cent in January 2016 to 76 per cent in February this year, when the most recent polling was carried out of 1,006 people weighted to be nationally representative. The trend appears in line with crime figures, which have shown that racially motivated hate crime has increased every year since 2013, doubling to 71,251 incidents in England and Wales in 2018, according to the Home Office. David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham and a leading anti-racism campaigner, described the findings as “alarming”, while Omar Khan, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tanisk, said it was now clear that Brexit, while not the source of racism, had led to higher levels being expressed and that social media was “normalising hate and increasing division”. Racism row: British university apologises to Chinese students for exam cheating warning The poll comes amid a wave of headlines about racism in Britain, from the BBC’s sacking of Danny Baker for tweeting a picture of a couple with a chimp in relation to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, to growing anger from professional footballers at racism online and in stadiums. Good morning, everyone. Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise for the outrage I caused and explain how I got myself into this mess. I chose the wrong photo to illustrate a joke. Disastrously so. — Danny Baker (@prodnose) May 10, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Meanwhile, the Conservatives and Labour have been tainted by allegations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism respectively. It found that at the end of 2016, 37 per cent of people saw racism on social media on a day-to-day basis, but that has now risen to 50 per cent, and is even higher for younger ethnic minority people aged 18 to 34. Online racism has more than doubled since before the referendum, to 51 per cent, and there were rises of about 50 per cent in the number or people reporting hearing people ranting or making negative comments about immigration or making racist comments made to sound like jokes. Racism row over ‘Living With The Lams’, BBC children’s comedy about British-Chinese family, written by mainly white team People from a black background said they have experienced the greatest increase in discrimination, with the proportion reporting abuse or discrimination rising from 59 per cent in January 2016 to 65 per cent the following October and to 74 per cent this February and March, when the latest poll was conducted. Respondents from the east of England were most likely to say they had suffered racism. “It is no coincidence that this rise has come as anti-migrant populists seek to divide the country using the playbook of Donald Trump,” Lammy said. UK police identify man in Ryanair racist rant – but charges unlikely ‘due to airline’s failure to act’ “This has both legitimated and encouraged abuse online and in the real world. I have experienced first-hand the rise in racist content on social media, and the level of abuse experienced by the younger generation, makes dealing with this problem of paramount importance.” “The EU referendum has both revealed and amplified the experience of racism among ethnic minorities in Britain,” Khan said.