A GROUP dedicated to Chairman Mao reckons it is helping to start a UK-wide revolution... from the heart of Sussex.

The Lewes Maoists say they have been distributing propaganda leaflets across the town, “have infiltrated the council” and have comrades in Harvey’s Brewery

They say they are committed to promoting the teachings of the Chinese communist revolutionary, founding father of the People’s Republic of China.

They have even created a new flag with his face on the Lewes crest.

A spokesman said: “We will begin our work locally but we hope to create more syndicates in Sussex.

“We now have comrades setting up a similar movement in Newhaven as well as Brighton and Hassocks.”

Asked why they were promoting the leader, whose 1958 “Great Leap Forward” led to a famine which caused up to 45 million deaths, the spokesman said: “We want to make it clear that unlike many other communist movements we do not seek to deny the mistakes, horrors and corruptions of the past.”

The group, which says it is the only active Maoist organisation in the UK, claims it is attempting to bring about revolution by infiltrating organisations and educating the public through flyers.

The spokesman said it now has “three committed comrades” under cover in “Lewes council” – though it seems unsure whether it is the town or district council – and the group has been spotted distributing leaflets at Lewes Station.

The spokesman added: “A true communist society will be one in which everybody benefits from production, where everything is held in common, where all education and healthcare is free and accessible to everybody and where the happiness of all is championed over the greed of a very few.”

The group’s Facebook page, liked by 94 people, has shared pro-Maoist literature, songs and even a picture of Lewes Castle emblazoned with the communist hammer and sickle.

In one bizarre post, the group announced it had uncovered a plot by three of its own members, Comrade Nigel, Comrade Imogen and Comrade Gary, to “thwart the progress of Mao Zedong thought in Lewes”.

“We will be having our usual cake stand by the castle gate on Saturday,” the post added.

One passerby, who was handed a flyer in Lewes on Saturday, said: “It had a lot of weird stuff about Maoism and communism but they seemed like nice people and we chatted for a while.

“I describe myself as to the left, I’ve always voted Labour, but not a Maoist or anything.”

Harvey’s and Lewes District Council were contacted for comment.