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Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton praised for response to comedian Andrew Lawrence's racist penalty shootout tweets

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A TOTTON venue which cancelled a comedian's show over his racist Twitter comments has been praised by local councillors for its response.

Andrew Lawrence was due to appear at Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton next year as part of a tour which also included performances in London, Manchester and Maidstone.

After the match on Sunday night, when England lost to Italy in a penalty shootout, 41-year-old Mr Lawrence made the offensive comments on Twitter, including "black guys are bad at penalties".

Lawrence was due to play Hanger Farm Arts Centre next year
Lawrence was due to play Hanger Farm Arts Centre next year

As reported in the A&T, a spokesperson for the centre said: "Following the racist comments made by comedian Andrew Lawrence on Twitter we have made the decision to take his scheduled show at Hanger Farm Arts Centre off sale and the show will not take place.

"As a social enterprise of learning disability charity Minstead Trust, we work hard to promote inclusivity, provide safe spaces for everyone within our community and have zero tolerance for racism."

Now Totton and Eling town councillor Dave Hills has welcomed the cancellation, saying: “Whilst it's owned by Totton and Eling Town Council, the centre is run by the Minstead Trust who decide which acts that perform there.

"I must say it was the right thing to do and completely support their decision.”

Time's up for Andrew Lawrence at Hanger Farm
Time's up for Andrew Lawrence at Hanger Farm

Cllr David Harrison was also supportive: "Well done, the trust – I am 100% behind the decision of the Minstead Trust to cancel this show.

"Racist remarks on Twitter or in any other context are not to be tolerated. It's a proportionate and correct response."

Other venues have followed, with Lawrence's shows in Eastleigh, Worcester, Cumbria and Gloucestershire confirmed as cancelled.

Mr Lawrence's Twitter account has since been taken down, and artist management agency RBM Comedy said in a statement on yesterday (Monday) evening that it was no longer representing him.

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