Happy Mondays party rocks a Hackney mosque

Dome of Shacklewell Lane Mosque painted by candidate Nigel Askew 250415 © DavidAltheer@gmail.com

A FAMOUS Dalston mosque has been adorned with an ad for a political party founded last year by Happy Mondays maracas player Bez.

Across the dome of Britain’s first Turkish mosque capital letters shout “Vote for hope”. A strapline urges the electorate to “Vote for Nigel Askew”.

The plea is as eccentric as the idea of a political party started by a Salford pop star-dancer because Askew is standing in South Thanet, Kent, for Bez’s Reality Party.

He sees his main opponent as Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader, whom he wants to see kept out of the UK Parliament.

Askew phoned Loving Dalston today to explain why he is advertising in Hackney when he is campaigning for a seat 115km away.

“I painted the ad partly to counter Islamophobia. Ukip is about being divisive.

“The Islamic committee man at the mosque told me: ‘You can paint on my mosque because you’re standing up to Nigel Farage. His party stands for dividing communities’.

“I painted the sign. It wasn’t difficult, although I had a couple of young spraypainters that I knew – graphics artists – helping me.”

Asked how he contacted the mosque, in Shacklewell Lane, Shacklewell E8 2DA, Askew said: “I knew someone who went to it and I showed them a photograph from Northern Ireland years ago with an ANC [African National Congress] flag and a message saying ‘One day all men will be free’.

“So they said: ‘Sure, the mosque is yours.’

There was no charge.

Askew added: “It’s about unity in Hackney: that’s why they did it.”

(Nobody mention the separation between religion and the State, OK?) The mosque was unavailable for comment.

The would-be MP described himself as a photographer but when pushed a little admitted: “Oh, yes, I do have a pub in Ramsgate.”

The pub landlord is opposed to fracking, which has led him to build links with the Green Party.

David Altheer 250415

For list of candidates, press here.

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