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MIDDLE income earners in the UK are more likely to feel threatened by immigrants, Muslims, Gypsies and Travellers, new research shows.

Those who express fears about immigrants have a household income between £25,000 and £50,000 than those who earn the least, a study by Protection Approaches, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to defend people violently targeted because of their identity, said.

The study found that nearly four out of 10 people said immigrants threaten Britain’s future. About 31 per cent were worried about Muslim people, 41 per cent believed Gypsies, Roma and Travellers posed a slight or major threat, and six per cent were concerned about Jewish people.

“Many who consider Muslims, immigrants, Roma, Gypsy or Travellers to be ‘a threat to Britain’s success and prosperity’ could be described as the winners of the past decades rather than Britain’s left behind,” the study said.

Evidence also suggests that Brexit may have encouraged racial prejudice. Tell Mama, which records hate crime, said there was a five-fold increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents in the days following the 2016 EU referendum.

The report warns that if left unchecked, the “current and emerging negative social trends will continue to gather momentum and lead to further long-term rises of identity-based violence in Britain.

“Britain must not think itself immune to the threats populist, far-right and anti-human rights movements pose elsewhere in Europe and around the world.”