Bat­tle for Pankhurst statue to won by cam­paign­ers

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A PRO­POSAL to move a statue of suf­fragette Em­me­line Pankhurst off Par­lia­ment grounds to a new lo­ca­tion has been with­drawn fol­low­ing a pub­lic back­lash.

West­min­ster City Coun­cil, on Mon­day Septem­ber 17, con­firmed the ap­pli­ca­tion to move the statue to Re­gent’s Uni­ver­sity’s grounds had been with­drawn.

Women’s groups had crit­i­cised for­mer Con­ser­va­tive MP Sir Neil Thorne’s trust’s pro­posal to move the statue from Vic­to­ria Tower Gar­dens, near the House of Lords, to the new site at Re­gent’s Park.

The Grade II-listed trib­ute to Pankhurst was un­veiled in the gar­dens in 1930 and later moved to a dif­fer­ent site on the land. The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion from the Pankhurst Trust to move it again at­tracted hun­dreds of com­ments, with most de­cry­ing the pro­posal to move it off-site.

The ap­pli­ca­tion pro­posed for the statue to be re-lo­cated in the cen­tral fore­court of Re­gent’s Uni­ver­sity, in Re­gent Park, at the site of the for­mer Bed­ford Col­lege, the first higher ed­u­ca­tion col­lege for women in the United King­dom.

Caro­line Cri­ado Perez, who suc­cess­fully cam­paigned to have a statue to Mil­li­cent Fawcett built on Par­lia­ment Square, had called the bid to move the Pankhurst trib­ute an “act of van­dal­ism against women’s his­tory”.

A coun­cil spokesman said Sir Neil’s other ap­pli­ca­tion for a statue of Pankhurst for Par­lia­ment Square Gar­dens re­mains in the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions process.

The lo­cal democ­racy re­port­ing ser­vice was un­able to reach Sir Neil or the Pankhurst Trust for com­ment. How­ever, he told The Tele­graph he had orig­i­nally wanted to move the statue to a site in Can­ning Green next to one of Abra­ham Lin­coln but the coun­cil had told him the statue was too small for the lo­ca­tion.

He added that he had with­drawn the ap­pli­ca­tion as the cam­paign to stop it be­ing moved was ap­ply­ing too much pres­sure on the coun­cil.

“We were try­ing to give her a more prom­i­nent po­si­tion, rather than be­ing stuck in the cor­ner near some bushes by the House of Lords,” Sir Neil re­port­edly said.

A wo­man takes a pic­ture of the statue of Em­me­line Pankhurst in Vic­to­ria Tower Gar­dens

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