Sadiq Khan has blasted “racists” who displayed offensive anti-refugee banners in Greenwich on Tuesday.

Police were called to the southern approach of the Blackwall Tunnel in Greenwich about 5pm on Tuesday following reports of a group of people displaying banners from a footbridge.

Images posted to social media show the banners, which carried anti-refugee and white nationalist messages, displayed along with Union Flags and St George’s flags.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the group fled as officers approached and no arrests were made.

The full police statement said: "An investigation is under way after police were alerted to offesnive banners being displayed near the Blackwall Tunnel.

"Officers were called shortly after 5pm on Tuesday, November 30 to the Southern Approach of the Blackwall Tunnel, SE10 to reports of a group of people displaying banners from a footbridge.

"Officers attended and removed the banners.

"No suspects were identified at the scene but enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.

"Due to the wording of the banners, this is being treated as a hate crime."

Police are asking anyone with information, or drivers who might have captured events on dashcam footage to get in touch quoting CAD7004/30Nov.

No arrests have been made.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Wednesday, Mr Khan said “those racists don’t speak for the vast majority of people” and added “we’ve got to be doing far more” to support asylum seekers and refugees.

Mr Khan said: “Those racists don’t speak for the vast majority of people in London. We’re a city and a country that has been a safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers for decades – that’s not going to change. And I think the majority have got to not be silent.

“We’ve got to be speaking up for our values, we’ve got to be speaking up for those who have lost their lives on unsafe crossings on the Channel, and we’ve got to lobby the Government to provide safe ways for asylum seekers and refugees to come to our country.

“We’ve got other countries in Europe taking far more asylum seekers and refugees, not just Germany and France, but others in terms of the size of the countries. We’ve got to be doing far more.”

According to the United Nations, it is the single largest loss of life in the English Channel since the UN migration agency started recording data in 2014.

On Tuesday, a lifeboat crew in Hastings was reportedly blocked from entering the sea by an individual who was heard shouting anti-migrant abuse at the crew.

The Mayor of London has said the safety of RNLI volunteers “is being compromised by these ‘vigilantes’ and, quite frankly, these racists”.

Mr Khan added: “We can’t have vigilantism and we can’t have a situation where some politicians either use a dog whistle or a megaphone to encourage that sort of behaviour. That sort of behaviour is not the best of British, it’s not the best of our values, but also it’s leading to people losing their lives and people risking their lives.”

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