Manchester councillor Kevin Peel has been accused of lying in his apology to an LGBT community group – after ‘mistaking’ a graffiti style art piece of drag queen Foo Foo Lammar for notorious child killer Myra Hindley.
The Labour councilor claimed he ‘did not know’ about the Gay Village mural project and that was why he made the mistake.
But Queerchester organiser Adam Prince has revealed to MM that he emailed Mr Peel about the project 13 days ago, and that the councillor had tweeted him regarding the project, prior to the gaffe.
In his apology, Cllr Peel said: “I wasn’t aware in advance of the project as no one had engaged with local councillors.”
However MM has since received an email which was sent by Adam to Mr Peel, about Queerchester and the competition, contradicting Mr Peel’s claims that he was unaware of it or that no one had tried to engage with local councillors.
Furthermore, his colleague Councillor Beth Knowles had heard about the competition and was behind the initiative and Councillor Joan Davies was also aware of Queerchester’s art trail campaign.
In another turn of events, councillor Peel tweeted Adam two weeks ago saying that ‘he was glad he’d found a new outlet.’
— Kevin Peel (@kevpeel) September 13, 2014
Adam believes that a feud between the pair, which started when Adam complained about the councillor, may be the real reason behind the ‘thinly veiled attack’.
“This all comes down to a problem that he has with me and as I was the organiser he had to say something negative,” he told MM.
“It’s ridiculous to think he actually thought that was Myra Hindley, and pretty disrespectful to make light of such an evil person, and really quite unprofessional for a councillor.
“That said, I’m so proud of the project, the incredible designers and all the hard work that everyone has put into creating the biggest piece of LGBT street art in Europe, I won’t let his comments take away from that.”
Councillor Peel raised eyebrows when he tweeted on Wednesday evening: “Hmm. Not sure how I feel about mass murderer Myra Hindley on the side of the Molly House.”
— Queerchester (@QCexM) September 24, 2014
He was subsequently criticised for confusing the legendary drag performer, who died in 2004, with one of the nation’s most notorious child killers.
The street art has been designed by Glenn Jones who won a competition which saw 25 applicants, 950 votes and seven judges decide on the overall winner alongside four others, who’s designs have been amalgamated with Glenn’s.
Their creations are being brought to life by graffiti artist Aylo (Hayley Garner) and Cbloxx (Joy Gilleard) who are currently hard at work on the Richmond Street site.
The following morning after Mr Peel’s comments he posted an apology, which read: “Last night I had a complaint from a resident about a mural currently being painted on the side of The Molly House which appeared to include a picture of Myra Hindley.
“I walked past myself to check this out and it did in fact look like her.
“I tweeted this to Molly House (in a probably less than tactful way), they clarified what the mural is about, who is in it and showed me a picture of the final version.
“I apologised and the matter was laid to rest.”
He added: “I wasn’t aware in advance of the project as no one had engaged with local councillors.
“We would’ve been extremely supportive of this scheme as we have been with similar ones in the Northern Quarter. The final version looks great and I can’t wait to see it unveiled.”
Mr Peel believes that Adam has whipped up what was an innocent mistake into something much larger.
He sent a tweet yesterday which read: “As usual you’ve misled & harassed to whip up hysteria in your ongoing hate campaign.”
— Kevin Peel (@kevpeel) September 24, 2014
The twitter spat between the two is the latest in a long running feud that Adam believes began when he and Mr Peel disagreed on the Early Morning Restriction on the Village, which would have seen all venues in the Village close at 3am.
Adam said: “It’s just bullying tactics, I’ve been told by quite a few people he’s tried to get me thrown off London Road Fire Station committee and I think this latest stunt was just him trying to undermine something I’ve done because of past issues, I’ve lodged a complaint.
“To be honest I’m looking forward now and just can’t wait for everyone to see the finished piece!”
The grand opening of the colourful and exciting artwork is this Sunday at 5pm, and already the piece has received very positive feedback both from the community and passersby’s.
Kevin Peel has been approached for comment by MM but currently has not responded.
Image courtesy of city centre labour, via YouTube, with thanks