London Shopkeeper Branded Racist For Selling British-Themed Souvenirs

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By Heat Street Staff | 4:46 am, December 9, 2016

A London shop owner claims he has been accused of racism for selling items dedicated to celebrating Britain.

Chris Ostwald opened his store – called Really British – last month in the north London suburb of Muswell Hill.

He sells a variety of goods including souvenirs painted with the Union Jack, London Underground tea towels, gifts associated with the Royal Family and memorabilia dedicated to 1960s pop group The Kinks, who come from the area.

But since opening he says he has received scores of complaints and been forced to remove a Union Jack flag from the window.

Some residents are also apparently threatening to stage protests.

Mr Ostwald, 54, told local newspaper the Hamsptead & Highgate Express: “The shop is in no way meant to be political or pro-Brexit but we have had a lot of complaints saying it is or we are racist. A guy came in the other day and said, ‘What’s this, a charity shop?’ We said, ‘No, not at all’ and he said, ‘Well it’s racist’ and stormed out.”

Mr Ostwald added: “People have been coming in and just tut tutting and walking out again.”

Locals have taken to the resident association’s Facebook page, Muswell Hill and Friends, to criticise the shopkeeper. One asked: “Do you have to be really British to work in the shop?”

Another wrote on Facebook: “Chris, while I applaud you setting up a business in Muswell Hill and employing local people I’m curious as to why you decided to call your shop ‘Really British’ (besides the obvious point that you will sell British made goods)?

One member of staff – who is Spanish – has resigned because she was so upset by the criticism.

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