The council and its leader have hit back at a New York Times journalist who branded Dagenham a "stronghold of anti-Muslim nativists" in a newspaper article.

David D. Kirkpatrick, an American journalist based in Cairo and formerly a UK correspondent, wrote the article, which paints Barking and Dagenham as a divided borough in a post-Brexit Britain.

"For years, even as the rest of London changed, the borough stayed largely the same, an almost all-white anachronism," says the article.

Both Muslims and white British residents feel a sense of unease about the current political climate, he says.

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