London’s landmarks to be reviewed after racism row
Edward Colston, 17th C slave trader
London’s landmarks are to be reviewed to make sure they reflect diversity.
The decision comes after protesters in Bristol pulled down a statue to 17th slave trader Edward Colston.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has set up the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.
It will look at the capital’s landmarks – murals, street art, street names, and statues and monuments – to decide what they stand for.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Mr Khan said: “It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade.
“While this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored.
“This cannot continue.
“We must ensure that we celebrate the achievements and diversity of all in our city, and that we commemorate those who have made London what it is – that includes questioning which legacies are being celebrated.
“The Black Lives Matter protests have rightly brought this to the public’s attention, but it’s important that we take the right steps to work together to bring change and ensure that we can all be proud of our public landscape.”
The commission will include historians and arts, council, and community leaders.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the death of George Floyd in America had awakened an “incontrovertible, undeniable feeling of injustice” worldwide.
Mr Floyd died after a police officer restrained him by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Mr Floyd will be buried in his hometown of Houston in Texas today (Tuesday).
Mr Johnson accepted the activists’ concerns were “founded on a cold reality”, and leaders “simply can’t ignore” the BAME voice.
But he added, people who harmed the police or property would face “the full force of the law”.