Council stands united against racism – but argues over issue

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

Health trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital is rated as above national average for the environment it provides for patients

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COUNCILLORS have stood firm against hate crime and racism.

Political parties backed a motion put forward by the Lib Dems calling for the authority to ensure a tough on the issue.

But members clashed over whether racism is a serious issue in the city.

The Tories said Portsmouth is ‘one of the most welcoming places in the country’ and hate crime is going down, citing a report by police saying there has not been a spike in incidents in the county since the EU referendum. Labour attacked Ukip’s ‘Breaking Point’ Brexit poster.

But Ukip councillor Julie Swan said she didn’t agree with it, saying she took leaflets containing the poster ‘to the skip’.

Lib Dem Lee Hunt feared messages sent out by the council about the need to ‘look after our own’ has not helped to tackle racism. But Tory council leader Donna Jones said she would not ‘apologise’ for speaking up for residents - regardless of their race and skin colour.