Caroline Pidgeon, commenting on the announcement today of a new commission to look into the diversity of the public realm in London, said:
“I am pleased the Mayor has unveiled a new commission to look into the diversity of the public realm in London.
“We have seen in recent days the forced removal of the slave trader Edward Colston by protestors in Bristol. Such statues are an example of a history we have painted in our country, which is unfit for the modern world and neglects elements of our history we should be looking at and learning from, including the racism that has existed in our society over so many years.
“I remember how hard many of us fought to get the statue of Mary Seacole outside of St Thomas’ Hospital. We need many more statues that celebrate the diversity of our history in London, including that of women, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled people who have contributed so much to our city and our country.
“This change must also be coupled with a serious re-thinking of how we teach our history in school. I do believe, as a liberal, in the power of education to effect change in our country and I am passionate about this.
“I hope the commission gets to work quickly to drag our public realm into the 21st century as quickly as possible.”