Andrea Leadsom and Baroness Evans express support for Shoah memorial
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Andrea Leadsom and Baroness Evans express support for Shoah memorial

The leaders of the Britain’s two parliamentary chambers have written a joint letter of support for a planned Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The leaders of the Britain’s two parliamentary chambers have written a joint letter expressing their support for a planned Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre to be built in a park next to the Palace of Westminster.

Andrea Leadsom MP and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park sent their letter to Westminster Council’s Planning Department on Monday, as the Environment Agency, Historic England and a senior UNESCO advisor all criticised the plans.

The memorial is due to be installed in Victoria Tower Gardens, a Royal Park in the shadow of Westminster, adjacent to the Thames, and has attracted the fervent opposition of residents, environmentalists and conservationists.

However the two Cabinet ministers told the council it would be “a statement of our values as a nation, and a commitment to remember the lessons of history… It will stand in honour of the survivors of the Holocaust, many of whom have dedicated their lives to teaching others about the atrocities of the Holocaust”.

Critics say the Imperial War Museum, located less than a mile away, is due to open its long-awaited Holocaust Galleries in two years’ time, arguing that this major and permanent exhibition that better serve to educate future generations.

However Leadsom and Evans said the siting of the proposed memorial was apt, “a short walk from where the Jewish refugee crisis in the 1930s was debated, where MPs and Peers discussed the murder of the Jewish communities of Europe as early as 1942, and where we still debate the need for a greater awareness of the lessons of the Holocaust today”.

They added that it “could not be a more timely endeavour,” saying: “We believe that the site of Victoria Tower Gardens in the shadow of Parliament is a recognition of the importance of this memorial and education centre and support the application wholeheartedly.”

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