English Defence League member Frank Day proudly claims to have put leaflets through the doors of 600 homes in the area.
His “Does Croydon need a mosque here?” leaflet contains information about a proposal to build an Islamic centre at 5 Russell Hill Place.
It urges residents to fight the application in the belief it will cause traffic issues. But despite his apparent concerns over parking issues in Purley, Mr Day lives six miles away on the New Addington estate – and freely admits he would object to a mosque being built anywhere.
Resident and Purley and Woodcote Residents’ Association member Andrew Frazer was one of those to have received a letter. He said:
“He (Mr Day) dropped a leaflet through the door and came back later after delivering some through other doors. He said, ‘we don’t agree with it, we are dead against it, we want as many people to complain to Croydon Council as possible’. He visited twice and when he came back after the first time he said ‘if you want to find out more go to Mosque Busters by typing it into Google’.”
We tracked Mr Day to his home in Arnhem Drive, which he shares with his 86-year-old mother. Here he told us that the information contained in his leaflets came directly from “Mosquebuster” Gavin Boby. Mr Boby is a professional planning consultant who has posted videos on the internet advising people how to defeat applications for Islamic places of worship.
Mr Day, who was arrested at an EDL rally in November, told the Advertiser that “they” (Muslims) were “taking over” and that “one mosque is too many”. The 64-year-old added he had attended a court appearance of Emma West, who is accused of racially abusing people on a tram, to show his support.
Purley councillor Badsha Quadir has said he believes the leaflets are “racially motivated” and is seeking advice from police. He told theAdvertiser:
“My colleagues and I are concerned about this extremist leafleting. I understand residents are concerned. It is not for people to come from New Addington and say what should happen in Purley. I would not go to New Addington and comment on their amenities. The leaflet appears racially motivated and I will speak to the borough commander about this issue and see what he can do.”
Police advised anyone concerned by the leaflets or the manner in which they were being given out to contact their local safer neighbourhood team on 020 8721 2467.
For background on Gavin Boby’s Law and Freedom Foundation (“Mosquebusters”) see here.