The Charity Commission has said it will be contacting a Dalston mosque as a “matter of urgency” after a political slogan appeared emblazoned across its roof.
The dome of the Shacklewell Lane mosque, which is home to the UK Islamic Trust, currently spells out the words “Vote for hope” and in smaller lettering “Vote Nigel Askew -Reality Party”.
The Reality Party, founded in 2014 by Mark ‘Bez’ Berry from the band Happy Mondays, does not have a candidate running for election in either of the Hackney seats – Nigel Askew is running in South Thanet in Kent.
Local residents raised concerns on Twitter over the unusual advert. Jo Harris-Cooksley tweeted:
Wonder if the blokes spray painting a massive “VOTE FOR HOPE” banner on the top of Shacklewell Lane mosque got permission…
— Jo Harris-Cooksley (@JoannaHC) April 21, 2015
A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “The Charity Commission is aware of concerns raised about an advert supporting a candidate at the General Election placed on a building registered to the UK Islamic Trust. The Commission will be contacting the charity to establish the facts of this matter as a matter of urgency.
“Charity Commission guidance on campaigning and political activity makes clear that a charity must not give its support to any political party or candidate and that all charities must ensure that their independence is maintained, and perceptions of independence are not adversely affected.
“The Commission will decide what action, if any, is required once the charity has responded.
The UK Islamic Trust has not responded to the Citizen’s request for comment.
Hat tip: Loving Dalston