Sadiq Khan called out the Leave campaign's 'Project Hate' and got the biggest cheer of the BBC EU debate

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 21 June 2016 22:30
news

Vote Leave and Stronger In went head to head in the biggest debate of the EU referendum build up at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Both panels - made up of Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson, Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and Secretary General of the TUC Frances O'Grady for Remain, and Tory MP Boris Johnson, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom and Labour MP Gisela Stuart on the Leave side - acknowledged Thursday's vote will go down to the wire.

The campaigners were asked to answer questions on the economy, immigration and British sovereignty in the two-hour long BBC event, hosted by David Dimbleby.

Both camps initially stuck to their lines, Johnson in particular repeating the Leave refrain that the Remainers are using 'Project Fear' to scare people into voting In.

Sadiq Khan, however, was having none of it.

"The problem is this, Boris", Khan said, after Johnson said he thinks immigration is a net positive for the UK.

Referring to the Leave campaign's aggressive rhetoric on clamping down on immigration - including a 'Breaking Point' poster unveiled last week that drew comparisons with Nazi propaganda - Khan went on:

You might start off with platitudes saying how wonderful immigration is. But your campaign hasn't been Project Fear. It's been Project Hate, as far as immigration is concerned.

The mayor went on to hold up a Leave campaign leaflet about the states currently being considered for EU membership - which shows a map of Europe with only Syria and Iraq actually named on it.

Image: Vote Leave

"That's scaremongering", he declared.

Cue: another massive cheer.

While a lot of the subject matter was pretty dry and complicated, the panel's back and forth elicited strong reactions from the crowd of 6,000.

Cheers, whistles and a few boos met almost everything the six campaigners on stage said.

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