Police are investigating a poster pinned up in a block of flats telling residents that speaking any language other than English will ‘not be tolerated’.
The sign, titled ‘Happy Brexit Day’, was reported to police after it was stuck to doors in Winchester Tower, Norwich on Friday morning - the day Britain officially left the EU.
A photograph of the sign, which went viral on social media, shows it saying: “We do not tolerate people speaking other languages than English in the flats.”
It went on: “It’s a simple choice obey the rule of the majority or leave”, adding: “You won’t have long till our Government will implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve or leave.”
The poster appeared just hours before people across the country marked Brexit, with hundreds of people congregating at Parliament Square on Friday night.
This trending photo from a door in Norwich makes me livid & embarrassed.— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) February 1, 2020
Norwich is the most tolerant, accepting, loving city I have ever lived in or visited.
This photo in no way represents our county or city. A racist, bigoted minority will NEVER be tolerated & NEVER prevail. pic.twitter.com/9De3s8g17d
It has sparked a backlash from members of the public, including people in Norwich who branded it racist.
TV presenter Jake Humphrey tweeted: “This trending photo from a door in Norwich makes me livid & embarrassed.
“Norwich is the most tolerant, accepting, loving city I have ever lived in or visited. This photo in no way represents our county or city. A racist, bigoted minority will NEVER be tolerated & NEVER prevail.”
Mike Stonard, a cabinet member on Norwich City Council, told the Eastern Daily Press: “I absolutely condemn this abhorrent poster. Whoever put it there has committed a hate crime, it is as simple as that.
“Many people voted for Brexit for a range of different reasons, however I am sure not many of them will condone this kind of thing.”
But many on Twitter also speculated whether the note could be a hoax, accusing those who believed it was genuine of being naive.
Some people are so ignorant. Britain may not be part of europe anymore, but we are still a welcoming country to those who want to be a valuable part of society.— Richard Verran (@RichDikkiVerran) February 1, 2020
Writing on Twitter on Saturday, Norwich City Council said: “You may have seen a photo of a poster that has appeared in one of our properties.
“Norwich has a proud history of being a welcoming city, and we will not tolerate this behaviour.
You may have seen a photo of a poster that has appeared in one of our properties.— Norwich City Council (@NorwichCC) February 1, 2020
Norwich has a proud history of being a welcoming city, and
we will not tolerate this behaviour. 1/2
It added: “As soon as we became aware of this incident, we reported it to @NorfolkPolice and they are investigating.
“We take this very seriously and encourage residents to contact us or the police if they have any concerns.”