Speaking Cockney lingo is setting people with the accent back in the workplace

Speaking Cockney and saying things like "all right” instead of “hello” is setting people back in their jobs.

Workers with an East End accent like A-list actor Ray Winstone, 65, say they have faced discrimination in advertising, fashion and media.

And they have joined forces with a Cockney community group to fight back against discrimination.

Tom Armstrong, 35, a fashion industry professional from Walthamstow says he has struggled with workplace culture.

He said: “There’s an expectation that someone with a London accent is a bit of a geezer, a bit of a joker.

“I’ve done a few panel talks before and I say hello the way that I would say hello to anybody normally.

“I’m like: ‘All right, how you doing?’ And everyone starts laughing.

“It’s kind of nice, because it breaks the ice, but they don’t laugh when anybody else is saying hello.”

Armstrong was speaking at an event hosted by Cockney Cultures, which campaigns to support London’s working-class communities.

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The group is hosting a month-long “observance of Cockneydom”.

Armstrong, co-founder of class equality platform Common People reckons growing up Cockney has its advantages too.

He said: “Growing up in that environment you can spot bulls*** at 500 paces, do you know what I mean?

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“And in creative industries you do come across a lot of blaggers.”

Armstrong said his accent has made it more difficult to forge a career in the creative industries.

A Cockney Cultures spokesman said: “Our ambition is to protect and grow the positive benefits and value of a vibrant Cockney self-identity.”

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