Protesters targeted Marks & Spencer’s store in Hackney today joining other London boroughs and cities across the country in the latest UK Uncut action day.
Around 30 protesters picketed the entrance to the store in Mare Street distributing leaflets that claimed M & S is avoiding paying its taxes.
A Marks & Spencer spokesman said the company provides: “full disclosure” to tax authorities. He said: “We pay tax in accordance with UK Laws and regulations, as well as in each country where we operate internationally.”
“In the last financial year we paid over £600m of tax to UK HMRC and over £125m in business rates to the UK government ”
In Lewisham protests were staged outside branches of Vodafone, Boots and the shops that are part of the Arcadia group. According to messages on Twitter, some of them were already closed when protesters arrived. BHS, HSBC and the local M&S were also targeted.
UK Uncut had issued an open call through its website for participation in their latest action day although the heavy snow may well have reduced the numbers involved.
The demonstrations were bigger in Oxford Circus with protests in Topshop and BHS, Arcadia Group’s flagship stores. According to Uncut’s Twitter page, dozens of Topshop protesters were dragged out by staff.
Arcadia’s boss Sir Philip Green has been the centre of the UK Uncut’s campaign. The team claims that although perfectly legal, the fact that – Lady Green, Arcadia’s legal owner – lives in the “tax haven” of Monaco is morally wrong since it deprives the British public purse of a respectable amount of money.