Sadiq Khan urges Westminster Council to back Holocaust memorial plans

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Sadiq Khan urges Westminster Council to back Holocaust memorial plans

"I urge Westminster City Council not to reject these plans and enable this hugely important national memorial,' the London mayor wrote

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Westminster Council to adopt plans to build a Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens.

In a letter to the council, Khan said the memorial and museum in Victoria Tower Gardens would “make a powerful national statement” amid rising antisemitism and hate crime.

“I have previously expressed my fear however that these plans would be rejected,” Khan wrote. “I therefore urge Westminster City Council not to reject these plans and instead enable this hugely important national Memorial to take its rightful place in the heart of the capital and close to the seat of national government.”

Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said in a statement: “Let us at least agree that everybody understands the importance of the Holocaust Memorial and its importance to Britain for our understanding of history and the experience of so many of our Jewish citizens.

“Instead of fighting pointlessly over this site, or potentially bending planning law, why not work together to have a politics-free discussion about the feasibility of this site, or even a discussion over a potential new site that respects the aims of those who wish to memorialise this brutal episode. We owe it to the victims of the Holocaust to find a solution to this impasse.”

But critics say the memorial is in the wrong location and will obstruct views of the UNESCO world heritage site.

Clare Annamalai, of Save Victoria Tower Gardens, said: “The mayor is the latest politician trying to bludgeon this unpopular project through despite growing misgivings within the Jewish community about its effectiveness at tackling antisemitism and the environmental concerns of The Royal Parks and UNESCO.

“Westminster Council is simply trying to apply planning law. The mayor is playing political games.”

An internal letter leaked last week suggested council officers are “heading towards” recommending the rejection of the planning application.

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