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Turner artist Sir Hodgkin drops far-right aide

By Dipesh Gadher

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

One of Britain’s leading artists has accepted his assistant’s resignation after learning that she made a donation to the far-right English Defence League (EDL).

Sir Howard Hodgkin, a Turner prize winner, said it was “impossible” to continue employing Ann Marchini, 62, because he felt the EDL had “despicable and abhorrent” views.

Marchini, a widow, is a member of the British Freedom party (BFP) which was set up by disaffected members of the right-wing British National party. The EDL is considering an alliance with the BFP to enable EDL members to stand as candidates at council elections.

The Sunday Times revealed last month that she had been photographed alongside the EDL’s leader, Stephen Lennon, at a rally and had helped organise a meeting in 2009 between EDL members and so-called “counter-jihad” thinkers in a bid to broaden its appeal.

Last week it emerged that Marchini had been an assistant to Hodgkin, 79, for 17 years. He was awarded the Turner prize in 1985, knighted in 1992 and made a Companion of Honour in 2003.

When approached by The Sunday Times, Hodgkin said Marchini, who worked 1 day a week at his studio, had admitted giving money to the EDL — albeit a small sum, understood to be £50. The artist said in a statement: “I find their views and activities despicable and abhorrent. It was therefore impossible to continue employing her. She tendered her resignation with immediate effect, which I accepted.”


Originally published on Hope not Hate, Sourced from The Times

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