‘Vile’ racist graffiti which was sprayed onto a wall near a mosque in Tameside earlier this week has been cleaned up after Ashton MP Angela Rayner was made aware of it by a local resident.
The offensive mural on Curzon Road in Ashton-under-Lyne was first spotted by a local taxi driver earlier this week, who reported the matter to Ms Rayner’s office. The message said ‘F*** ****s’ followed by ‘HC only’, which is thought to possibly be a reference to the nearby Hurst Cross area.
The driver, who asked not to be identified, told the MEN: “In my job, I take people from here all over the place every day, seven days a week and it’s shocking to see something like this. Everything is usually okay here but I don’t know what made someone write this. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
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The taxi driver, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said he first spotted the racist graffiti on Tuesday evening (April 12) and reported it to Ms Rayner the next day.
He said, because he lives in the area, he feared the graffiti might be a personal attack on him and his friends. He explained: “Twice a week, I clean my car because I want to give good customer service. We look after our customers and I don’t know why people still think like this in this day and age. It makes me worried.”
The driver added: “It’s a shock that this was left up and nobody said anything. It’s right next to a church, a mosque and a community centre, and this is quite a busy road. How come nobody noticed it except me?”
The graffiti was eventually cleaned up on Thursday afternoon (April 14), with the taxi driver applauding the ‘swift action’ from Ms Rayner and Tameside Council. In a statement to the MEN, Ms Rayner said: “Racism must have no place in Tameside just as it has no place in today’s Britain.
“My office reported this graffiti to the Director of Place at Tameside Council immediately after we were alerted and I am grateful for the Council’s swift action in removing this vile attempt to stain the heart of our community. Racists are hell-bent on seeking to stoke division wherever they can but while there are decent people to stand up and be counted, they will fail.”