Brexit heartlands: pro-leave Havering – a photo essay | UK news

Havering – sandwiched between Essex and London – was one of the strongest pro-Brexit boroughs in the country, with 69.7% voting to leave the EU.

Its population has remained relatively constant between the two past censuses in 2001 and 2011, with a 6% increase in residents compared with a 14% London average, but the population of the main town, Romford, has shot up by 21%, reflecting a glut of new apartment blocks attracting families squeezed out of the London market.

Two other things stand out from the censuses: it has an older population than average for the capital and is one of the two least diverse boroughs in London (the other being Bromley). But in the 10 years between both censuses the make-up of the population has changed, with the minority ethnic population having more than doubled.

Is that one of the reasons why the borough opted so emphatically to exit the EU?

We go to Romford to find out.

Social club



Romford United Services and Social Club was set up in 1921 by the ex-servicemen of Romford, who were in the armed forces during the first world war. The present site was opened following the second world war.

Hillary and Paul Webster, line dance teacher and DJs – Voted: remain, leave



Married couple Paul and Hillary Webster had what she describes as “a massive fallout” over the referendum after he voted remain and she voted Brexit.

“I think I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’m deeply regretting my decision. I don’t think I was given the correct information. Given another chance in another referendum I’d vote in now,” says Hillary, 61, a line dance teacher at Romford United Services and Social Club.

“I thought we had good reasons for going out. We had a better chance for the future. We weren’t making much of being in Europe. My mother used to say, ‘A pot has to stand on its own base,’ and Britain wasn’t standing on its own base.”

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