Descendants of abolitionist honoured in Victoria Tower oppose Shoah memorial

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Descendants of abolitionist honoured in Victoria Tower oppose Shoah memorial

Descendants of an MP who led anti-slavery legislation honoured in Victoria Tower Gardens oppose the proposed Holocaust memorial

Proposed design of Westminster Holocaust Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens
Proposed design of Westminster Holocaust Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens

Descendants of an abolitionist honoured with a fountain in Victoria Tower Gardens have written to the government opposing plans for a Holocaust memorial to stand beside Parliament.

Some 19 descendants of the MP Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, who led anti-slavery legislation in 1833, laid out their concerns to the government about the Shoah memorial and museum.

Descendants of Buxton also put their names to a letter to the Telegraph last month, deploring the “design, scale and location of the memorial”, saying it would “destroy the peace of the park and the special symbolism of its existing statuary.”

Dr John Fannon, treasurer of the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society, also opposes the Holocaust memorial and learning centre.

He told Jewish News on Monday:My personal reasons is that Victoria Tower Gardens is a nice green space in London, and it’s rather unique. It also houses the Buxton anti-slavery monument, which is quite a large structure.

“The proposals would actually hide that monument. This is is not antisemitic in any way. If the proposal was for a memorial of that size, like the Buxton memorial, it would be fine.”

In response to concerns, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed the Holocaust memorial would be no higher than the top of Buxton fountain.

“I understand your concerns about the impact on the Gardens’ other statuary, particularly the Buxton Memorial which honours your ancestor’s historic achievement,” the ministry told descendants last week.

“However, the design of the Holocaust Memorial has been developed in response to the brief that the Buxton Memorial will be kept in its current position with the views of it preserved, and with the addition of new landscaping and seating to improve the setting, viewing experience and accessibility.”

The monument honouring Buxton moved to Victoria Tower Gardens in 1957 after it was installed on the edge of Parliament Square in 1865.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: