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  • Gareth Bacon

We cannot allow "woke" activists to rewrite British history

Like many constituents and people across the country, I am concerned by the woke assault on Britain's history and what it means to be British today. In the aftermath of last year's Black Lives Matter protests, a mob of woke activists are attempting to re-write Britain's long history to focus solely on slavery - without any acknowledgement of Britain's huge role in ending it. Why? They seek historical justification for their ideological belief that modern Britain is inherently racist with an entirely shameful past. There is no better way to achieve this than to topple the towering heroes on which British history balances; for example, left-wing efforts to paint Churchill as a racist is an attempt to warp our country's memory of the Second World War. In Britain today, there are left-wing activists who are uncomfortable with our nation and seek to stir up division as often as possible. They fail to recognise that we are an open, tolerant, and global country. That far from being "evil", the UK is a force for good in the world as a champion of democracy, equality, peace and prosperity. The left-wing response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities demonstrates this. The report (which was based on substantial data) found that while racism exists in the UK, our country is not structurally racist and should be a model for other nations. Before those on the left had even had time to read the long document and study its findings, they had written it off as it didn't fit their world-view. Disgracefully they have smeared, abused and threatened those who contributed to the commission. It is against this backdrop that we see an attempt to topple statues, monuments and even the road names in certain parts of our country. We see this in London too - to distract from his failings, the Mayor of London has jumped on the bandwagon and appointed a commission to review and remove Greater London's landmarks. No politician or commission should be allowed to erase swathes of British history. But, that's what Sadiq Khan is planning to do with his new statue-toppling commission. The bill for Khan's virus-signalling project has already quadrupled to an eye-watering £1.1 million. Khan has handpicked, hard-left, political activists for his commission. One of the commissioners has already been forced to resign for his previous anti-Semitic comments. Another said that "the UK is evil" adding that we are "the common denominator in atrocities across the world and responsible for white supremacy everywhere". A third had called for the police to be defunded and called the Prime Minister a word I won't repeat. Sadiq Khan is playing an irresponsible and dangerous game by establishing a new commission to tear down London's landmarks. Instead of posturing in this way, the Mayor should take a long hard look at his record of failure which has left communities behind in London.


After five years at the helm of City Hall, it's time he took his fair share of responsibility for the challenges and inequalities that exist in London. On his watch, violent crime has soared to record levels and murder reached an 11-year high; only 17,000 affordable homes have been completed despite receiving an unprecedented £4.82 billion grant; 22 major transport upgrades have been delayed; Crossrail is nearly four years late and £4 billion over budget; Transport for London is bankrupt.

As your Member of Parliament, I believe that I have a duty not only to deliver for Orpington, but to stand up to the Mayor of London - who supposedly represents all of Greater London - and proudly defend and champion the United Kingdom. That's why I secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons in March to debate Sadiq Khan's statue-toppling commission. If the Mayor insists on pushing ahead with this deeply divisive, virtue-signalling exercise, then the government should step up to protect our national heritage and explicitly strip him of the power to dismantle it. After the debate, the Government made a commitment to fight any attempt to topple statues of British heroes. To protect our nation's heritage, all historic statues, plaques and other monuments will now require full planning permission to remove. This means the Secretary of State can call in these applications to review and stop them. History should be debated and discussed but never hidden or erased. The UK has a long history and much to be proud of - we must protect it.



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