Whatever the outcome of the EU referendum, Frank Chalmers can at least claim he won the ‘battle of the balconies’.
Responding to his neighbour’s Vote Leave placard, the 61-year-old had the perfect response, putting a ‘…if you want to cut workers’ rights’ banner on his own balcony.

Relations between Frank Chalmers and his next-door neighbour, Tony, remain friendly despite the message behind the original banner being “usurped”.

As June 23 draws nearer and the UK readies itself for arguably one of the most important decisions to be put in the hands of the British public, it seems that divides between those who want to stay in Europe and the leave camp are wider than ever.

The Brexit debate has divided politicians, economists, businessmen and women, and now, it seems, next-door neighbours.

Frank Chalmers, 61, couldn’t have disagreed more when his neighbour Tony nailed his colours to the mast and erected a pro-Brexit banner on his balcony.

He decided to take slightly more imaginative action to show his support for remaining within the EU and made his own banner to complete the sentence for passers-by.

Side by side the banners in Gospel Oak, North London, read: “Vote Leave… if you want to cut workers’ rights”.

A photograph of the balconies was shared by Frank’s son, Malcolm, on Twitter, where the effort was praised by Hackney North MP and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Diane Abbott.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, university administrator Malcolm said: ““Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and my dad is just the type of person who likes to make a point in a humorous manner.

“He gave the neighbours a bottle of wine as a peace offering.”

Of his hand-painted banner, Frank said: “My wife and I responded to our neighbour Tony’s massive ‘Vote Leave’ banner because we wanted to draw attention to specific issues, and get away from the claims of impending Armageddon being made by politicians.

“Tony and I will continue to be friends, and share a cup of tea over the balcony, even though we differ politically.”

The banners are both still in place at the back of the Lissenden Gardens building, near Hampstead Heath.

Though the pair remains cordial despite their differing political views, Frank joked about the fate of Tony’s banner saying: “I think that Tony may take down his Vote Leave banner in the next few days, as he feels his message is being usurped by mine.”

Writing on Twitter, Frank’s son Malcolm praised his father and Tony for their handling of their differences, calling them “two people who disagree, but are able to do so without insulting each other.”



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