Left-leaning businesses in anti-government protest

Monday 25th May, 2015

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Anti Conservative and UKIP signs cause outrage among customers.

Photo: Nina J.G.

In the aftermath of a surprise election victory for David Cameron’s conservatives, some businesses further towards the left-wing end of the political spectrum are showing their discontent by displaying anti-Tory signs in their shops.

The election result sparked protests and clashes in London as left-wing activists marched on Downing Street, bemoaning the Conservatives’ plans for the next five years, from a referendum on Britain’s membership to the EU to welfare cuts and further austerity.

Small businesses protested in their own way.

Lily Maila is a hairdressers and coffee shop in Farringdon. Inside the door, leaning against a cabinet of hair products, is a sign that reads: “Fight Austerity, Fight Racism.”

The barrister says the sign is actually from a protest that took place before the election, on 1 May. “But we thought it was good so we kept it,” he said.

UKIP voters please shop somewhere else

HER café in Haggerston displayed a sign outside which read: “Please could anyone who voted Conservative identify themselves on entering my shop. I will be happy to apply a 10 per cent ‘Tory Tax’ on your coffee. I’m sure you can understand this is one of my tough decisions I need to make to balance the books – don’t be shy!”

After the sign sparked a social media backlash, HER’s owner First Sukpaiboon, 35, posted on Facebook: “HER loves every customers and serves everyone equally but [that] doesn't mean we can't have a view... [It’s the] whole point of democracy and don't take it personally!” She has since removed the sign.

Sukpaiboon’s sign was a copy of one created by Matt Woodruff, owner of a garden centre in East Sussex. Woodruff’s original came with an extra note at the end: “UKIP voters please shop somewhere else.”