A council in London has apologised profusely after an “inappropriate” response to a report of a daubed swastika, suggesting it could be checked that it is not a piece of street art.

Jack Mendel, an editor at Jewish News, reported the graffiti of a large swastika in red paint under the bridge at Finsbury Park station, for which Hackney Council replied, “you can ask us to remove the graffiti…or ask us to make sure we *don’t* remove a piece of street art.” After a complaint was made, Hackney Council apologised.

“Sorry for our earlier response,” the council stated, “It was copied and pasted and was inappropriate. We should have said we’ll have the unacceptable graffiti removed as soon as possible. We’ll update our processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Please accept our sincere apologies.”