New figures on hate crime should be a lesson for anyone who tries to deny the problem is real, a campaigning MEP said today (Tues).

Anthea McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, spoke out after the latest annual statistic showed a 10 per cent rise in recorded hate crimes in England and Wales. Race hate crimes accounted for three out of four of offences, while crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation or for being transgender rocketed 25 and 37 per cent, respectively.

Miss McIntyre, joint founder of the cross-party campaign group West Midlands Together, said the figures showed the reality, scope and scale of hate crime and she congratulated police for making sure it was probably recorded and addressed.

"Unless everyone accepts that hate crime is real and we recognise and challenge it in all its many forms, we will be fighting a losing battle," she said. 

"We formed West Midlands Together to show regional cross-party solidarity following the spike in hate crime which followed the EU referendum. My only sorrow is that senior figures in Westminster chose to take these figures as an opportunity to launch attacks and score party political points against the Government.

"Our experience in West Midlands Together shows that you achieve more by working together against the genuine proponents of hate crime than you do by trying to weaponise the issue politically."