AN MP has taken up the cause of Big Issue seller Allan — "a cornerstone of the Prestwich community" — after he was 'moved' from outside Aldi's Prestwich main entrance.

Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, has written to Aldi's regional managing director Ruth Doyle, calling for the Big Issue employee to have his selling spot reinstated.

Allan has sold the Big Issue outside Prestwich Aldi for more than four years, and is both well-known and highly regarded by shoppers.

He has received praise for helping to resuscitate a shopper after they collapsed in the supermarket car park as well as showing kindness to others.

A supermarket director is alleged to have "banned him from sitting outside."

Allan's cause was taken up by Facebook page Original Prestwich People, who have written an open letter to Aldi asking them to explain "why they have asked Alan to move his selling patch to over the road."

They voiced Allan's good character, citing occasions when he has "helped with trollies, helped look after dogs, packed heavy items, not to mention help stop shop lifters."

Hundreds of people have echoed their call, with some shoppers even threatening to boycott the supermarket.

An online petition "to get our Alan back" has already amassed more than 600 signatures.

Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South, has now called for Aldi to reconsider their decision.

He said: "I am proud to support Allan and I think the fact that he is determined to earn and living and support himself should be celebrated. There has been massive backlash within the community regarding this decision and the strong local feeling is that he should be able to stay."

His letter to Ruth Doyle, Aldi's regional manager for Manchester, reads: "I am writing in support of Alan, who sells the Big Issue outside the Prestwich branch of Aldi.

"The situation as I understand it, is that the area manager is happy for him to be there and it is one director who has found issue with his presence outside the store and banned him from sitting outside.

"Alan should be celebrated for the fact that he is determined to earn a living and support himself. By relegating him elsewhere this will subject him to harsh weather conditions and move him further away from the shoppers he has come to interact with and rely on.

"He has become a cornerstone of the Prestwich community and many shoppers have positive anecdotes from their interactions with him. He is widely known for his good character — being polite, friendly and always willing to help.

"I would highlight an incident in which an individual collapsed in the car park and Alan was the one to go over and resuscitate him and wait with him until the ambulance arrived.

"The local community is aghast at the callous decision to remove Alan from the premises, and it shows a distinct lack of empathy on Aldi's part.

"I would urge you to reconsider your decision and continue to allow Alan to sell the Big Issue outside the store."

The Big Issue is a street newspaper sold across four continents, and offering employment to people living in poverty.

Vendors buy The Big Issue for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50. The Big Issue describes each of its sellers as "micro-entrepreneurs who are working, not begging."

The Big Issue North posted on social media: "We're saddened to hear this. Alan will be supported by office staff and manager to rectify this issue.

"Alan is working, not begging — buying each magazine for £1.25 before selling it to the public for £2.50. It's how he makes his income and his livelihood depends on footfall."

The Bury Times has contacted Aldi for a comment.

To sign the petition visit