London Mayor Sadiq Kahn has revealed his London statue review taskforce to ensure the capital’s landmarks “reflect diversity”.
Earlier today, Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn unveiled his new diversity taskforce to review landmarks around London. This has led to initial accusations of “reducing London’s history to politics”.
Mr Kahn’s new team of 15 have been labelled “unelected activists” and include an academic who has previously implied white supremacy can be traced back to Britain, as well as a campaigner who has confronted the Queen, demanding that she apologise for British historical injustices.
This project has received multiple criticisms from politicians, who are concerned that important figures of our national past will be unnecessarily erased.
Besides statues, street and building names, as well as memorials, will all be placed under scrutiny by the new team.
However, Mr Kahn has emphasised the purpose of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm is not to remove or change any statues or memorials, rather only to “raise public understanding”.
The controversial topic of evaluating current statues will be instigated by this team, most of which have already announced their opinions of individual statues.
Members of the panel include Toyin Agbetu, known for defacing a statue of slave owner Robert Geffrye and for disturbing a procession at Westminster Abbey marking the abolition of slavery by announcing that: “this is an insult to us”.
Furthermore, prominent art critic Aindrea Emelife will be included, who supported the illegal removal of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol last year by Black Lives Matter protestors.
Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for London Mayor, said: “London is a city built on history – sometimes bad, more often good and always complicated. But Sadiq Kahn wants to reduce our history to politics.”
“A commission of fifteen unelected activists should not get to decide which statues to pull down and which streets to rename – which history my children are allowed to see.”