Tower Hamlets Mayor in shock at EU exit vote and implications on East End

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs - Credit: Archant

The aftershock of Britain’s vote to quit the European Union has hit London’s East End which was firmly in the ‘remain’ camp.

Mayor John Biggs

Mayor John Biggs - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets, at the heart of the East End, voted overwhelmingly to remain.

The count declared in the early hours of this-morning at Canary Wharf’s East Wintergarden hall declared 73,011 voted at yesterday’s polls to stay with Europre, while 35,244 voted to leave.

But nationally, the ‘remain’ vote was lost by 52 per cent against 48pc.

“I am obviously disappointed with the result,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said.

“Particularly given that 68 per cent of Tower Hamlets voted to remain.

“I was clear during the campaign that the East End would be better off in the EU, but we must now accept the decision that the UK has made.”

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There was now “great uncertainty” about what it means for one of Britain’s most-socially deprived boroughs.

“It’s clear there will be some challenges in our borough, our city and our country,” the Mayor added. “I believe in the East End and am confident that we will weather this storm and retain the sense of tolerance, community and diversity that has defined us for centuries.

“I am sure that London will remain one of the world’s foremost trading centres and that the East End will continue to be a vibrant multi-cultural community regardless of our membership of the EU.”

Neighbouring Hackney was in the top three London boroughs voting to remain—83,398 to 22,868.

But there were pockets wanting the UK to quit, including two east London boroughs. Havering bucked the London trend where seven-out-of-10 voters went for Brexit—96,885 against 42,201,while next door Barking & Dagenham voted by 46,130 to 27,750 to quit.

The rest of east London, however, wants to stay. Newham voted 55,328 to remain, 49,371 against. The City of London which borders Tower Hamlets and Hackney voted three-to-0ne to remain, 3,312 to 1,087. Redbridge voted 69,213 to remain against 59,020 and Waltham Forest 64,156 to 44,395.