First a garden centre, now a coffee shop: Haggerston Espresso Room owner applies 10% 'Tory Tax' to Conservative voting drinkers

First Sukpaiboon said it was ‘sighs all round’ after the General Election result in the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 12 May 2015 14:32 BST
The blackboard for HER telling Tory voters to own up and pay a 10 per cent tax on their coffee in Hackney
The blackboard for HER telling Tory voters to own up and pay a 10 per cent tax on their coffee in Hackney (Nick Duxbury, twitter )

An independent coffee shop in Haggerston has taken a political stand and announced it will be charging a 10 per cent “Tory tax” to customers who voted Conservative in the General Election, as a way to “balance the books” ahead of “the pain to come over the next five years”.

First Sukpaiboon, 35, who runs the Haggerston Espresso Room (HER) in Hackney, east London, a Labour stronghold, told the Evening Standard she had decided to pen the board after seeing the General Election results.

The sign reads: “Important! 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 many ‘tough’ decisions I need to make to ‘balance the books’,” adding: “Don’t be shy!”

Sukpaiboon said that while the sign was intended to be a joke, it was “sighs all round” last Friday morning, “and it will be more pain to come over the next five years”.

She said she is yet to have a customer to enter her coffee shop and declare themselves a Tory voter. But while Sukpaiboon said she said she has barely received any complaints about the sign, people have become angered on social media, calling the move “prejudiced,” “immature” and “discrimination”.

She is not the first business owner to experience backlash against instating a “Tory tax” on customers. Matt Woodruff owns a garden centre in Lewes, and this weekend put out a sign informing any Conservative voting customers that they would be charged an extra 10 per cent on their plants, while Ukip voters were advised to shop elsewhere.

Woodruff has since removed the sign and informed people that he was not serious about the tax, though he remained unfazed over any backlash he received, claiming that irritating people with the sign was worth it for “stirring things up”.

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