THE district chairman of the Methodist Church in Leigh is urging residents to write to their MP to ‘call for respect and tolerance in our national life in the wake of the divisive EU referendum’.

There has been a rise in hate crime incidents across the country, including in the Greater Manchester area, following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Rev Paul Martin said: “I am deeply worried at the increase in racist incidents and the growing concerns of many minority communities within Leigh that they are feeling unwanted and threatened.

“For some the referendum has been an excuse to justify acts of racism and hate.

“The outcome of the referendum has isolated many people and divided our communities.

“As a Methodist I am called to support our neighbours and communities and to seek justice for all. I believe that these are views shared by many.

“Together we must ensure that those in power do all they can to ensure that the worrying growth in race hate is dealt with quickly.

“These are very complex and, for some, worrying times and I urge those of all faiths and those of none to join us to stem the worrying growth of hate in our society.”

For help with contacting your MP to call for their support for the campaign visit