Council leader and vicar worried, shocked and angry at EU vote

Lib Peck
Lib Peck

Lambeth council leader Lib Peck has reassured the diverse communities of European citizens in the borough that “they are always welcome here”.

But, in a message to local Labour party members, she also warned that the referendum vote to leave the European Union means more uncertainty for the borough in relation both to direct EU funding and to the indirect effects of the possible decline in investment in London.

Peck said the borough faced “further austerity for years to come which has already been profoundly unfair and damaging to local services”.

While the specific impact of leaving the EU would not be clear for some time, “we have to be clear that Thursday’s decision could have a detrimental impact on investment in areas like housing in Lambeth”.

Lambeth was beaten only by Gibraltar as the electoral district most in favour of staying in the EU.

People in Lambeth voted to remain by 111,584 to 30,340 votes – 78.6% to 21.4%. A total of 141,924 people voted, a 67.34% turnout of an electorate of 210,766.

That vote has brought media from across the world to Brixton. The Los Angeles Times reported the Sunday sermon of Rev Stephen Sichel, vicar of St Matthews.

Peck said the vote gave her a sense of “worry and despair”, while the vicar said: “There is a deep sense of shock, anger, and foreboding for many about how events will unfold in the coming weeks and months

“Minorities of all stripes, the undocumented, and anyone who feels that in some way they don’t fit in must all feel a sense of disorientation.

“It cannot comfort us to know in a plural community such as our own that some of us who rejoice most passionately over this decision are also those who find human differences, the other, the alien and the stranger in the land as the cause of our woes rather than as our neighbours,” the Times reported.

Peck told Lambeth Labour party members: “I want to assure you that, in Lambeth, we will continue to fight for the values we campaigned for in this referendum.”


  1. I understand that the graphics on the high level bridge across the A23 will be renewed soon. Perhaps it should display a suitable message that says something like ‘Brixton: welcome to the world’ . My cynical side may say that it’s a bit of a cheesy idea, but I am heartbroken about these events and we should put out a strong message. Furthermore, until we actually leave the EU, I also call on the council to still fly the EU flag on the town hall in rotation with the others that get used. It would offer some consolation to many people and remind them that we care.

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