Brexit Petition: How has East London reacted?

Brexit protest outside Westminster. Pic: Wikimedia Creative Media

A record-breaking petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked has reached more than 5.9 million votes, but reception to the proposal across East London has been mixed.

Currently, over twice the proportion of people have signed the petition in Hackney than in Croydon, with almost one in five Hackney residents signing the petition. In Croydon, the figure is closer to one in ten.

Fourteen percent of Tower Hamlets residents have signed whereas in Lewisham the figure is 16%.

The petition continued to grow following Saturday’s march through Central London, which organisers claimed saw more than a million people take to the streets in support of a People’s Vote.

The previous highest total of 4,150,260 was for a 2016 petition calling for a second referendum that was endorsed, ironically, by then UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

At the time of writing, the campaign has been supported by 5,705,787 people from across the UK.

So, how has East London reacted to the petition, and how are local MP’s responding to Brexit?

Click on the graph to switch between the percentage of constituents and the total number of signatures.

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets voted overwhelmingly to remain a part of the EU at the referendum, with 67.5 per cent of voters deciding to stay put.

Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushnara Ali, voted to remain a part of the EU, and has since campaigned for both a second referendum and has shown her support for the petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked. Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick, also Labour, voted to remain in the EU too, however, he is vocal in his support of the Prime Minister’s deal to leave the EU.

He told the Independent: “The Labour manifesto in 2017, which my constituents voted for, said we respected the outcome of the referendum.” In which case, “at some point we need to recognise that the danger of no deal is still there and that the only real alternative on the table is the prime minister’s deal”.

Currently, 14.2 per cent of Tower Hamlets residents have signed the petition, with over 43,000 locals saying that they want to revoke Article 50 and remain a part of the EU.



From results listed, Hackney had the third highest number of remain voters out of the 399 voting areas, with 78.5 per cent of Hackney residents voting to remain part of the EU.


Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbot campaigned to remain in the EU, but has since stated that Britain should respect the vote and leave the EU.

When asked on Nick Robinson’s podcast if a second referendum would be successful she said: “My view is that if we had a second referendum tomorrow, Leave would win again. And not only would Leave win again, but Leave voters would say: what didn’t you understand about Leave the first time?”

Labour and Cooperative MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch Meg Hillier has voted repeatedly against Brexit, and has been a vocal campaigner for a second referendum.

18.91 per cent of Hackney residents have signed the petition, with over 52,000 signatures.



Lewisham also voted to remain a part of the EU, with 69.9 per cent of voters opting to remain.

The borough is represented in Parliament by three Labour MPs; Janet Daby for Lewisham East, Vicky Foxcroft for Lewisham Deptford and Ellie Reeves for Lewisham West.

Daby, who won her seat in a by-election in June 2018, campaigned on a promise to oppose a hard Brexit. She has recently opposed Theresa May’s Brexit deal, instead calling for Parliament to take control.

Foxcroft was a strong Remain voice within the Labour party during the referendum, and says that she is: “deeply concerned by the government’s dangerously chaotic approach to the negotiations.

15.63 per cent of people have signed the petition, with 54,000 signatures from the borough.


Croydon voted to remain, but on a far narrower margin, with 54.3 per cent of voters choosing to stay part of the EU.

It is represented by three MPs; Sarah Jones and Steve Reed from Labour who sit on behalf of Croydon Central and Croydon North respectively, and Chris Philp, Conservative, from Croydon South. Interestingly, Philp’s South Croydon constituency is the only Tory seat across the four boroughs.

Currently, more people have signed the petition in South Croydon than Philp’s electoral majority of 11,406 people in 2017, according to

Philp was opposed to Brexit at the time of the referendum, but has since been vocal about the potential possibilities of Brexit, telling a Tory conference: “Although I voted for ‘remain’ in the referendum last June, I am optimistic about our countries prospects as we leave the European Union. I’m optimistic personally because the European Union needs us for trade more than we need them.”

Both Labour MPs have been campaigning against the current deal with the EU, and Steve Reed has even gone as far as to support a second referendum.

Croydon’s scepticism towards the EU, perhaps due to the more conservatively aligned South Croydon constituency, is reflected in the number of people who have signed the petition, with 8.51 per cent of residents contributing 32,500 signatures.

Leave a Reply