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Islington council to investigate removal of ‘slaver statues’

'All Labour council leaders agree to review appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land and council property'

09 June, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Statue of slave trader and merchant Edward Colston thrown into Bristol Harbour

ISLINGTON council has launched an investigation into whether there are any statues or monuments in the borough memorialising “slavers” which could be removed.

Town Hall leader Richard Watts said he has instructed Cllr Asima Shaik to “lead a piece of work” with the council’s heritage team looking into whether there are any memorials to historic individuals who have had ties with the slave trade.

This comes after a bronze statue of Edward Colston, a 17th and 18th Century slave trader and textile merchant, was toppled during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on Sunday and thrown into the harbour.

A statement from the Local Government Association Labour Group said all Labour council leaders had been consulted, and there is an “overwhelming agreement” that they will “listen to and work with communities” to review the “appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land and council property”.

Former Town Hall finance chief Labour Cllr Andy Hull asked on Twitter if there are any “slaver” statues in the borough and, if so, whether the council could “begin a democratic process to remove them”.

Former crime chief Paul Convery responded saying: “We should run a check on Hugh Myddelton, who was a remarkable man but with fingers in many business ventures.”

Council leader Cllr Watts said he was not “aware of any memorials to slavers” but that he stood ready to be corrected.

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