Lord Pickles and Ed Balls defend Holocaust memorial at public inquiry

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Lord Pickles and Ed Balls defend Holocaust memorial at public inquiry

Lord Eric Pickles and Ed Balls stressed the need to press ahead with the £100m project next to Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

Ed Balls and Lord Pickles
Ed Balls and Lord Pickles

Lord Eric Pickles and Ed Balls have restated their support for the planned Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Westminster.

Speaking at the public inquiry into the planning of the centre, the former MPs said that it was essential to create a memorial that would both boldly and prominently preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

Defending the location of the centre next to Parliament, the co-chairs of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation claimed its placement would provide a statement of the Holocaust’s national significance in Britain’s history.

They added that being able to see Parliament from the memorial will remind visitors of the far-reaching consequences political decisions have, encouraging greater reflection on the role of Parliament. Their evidence comes after terrorism expert Lord Carlile QC branded the plan to locate the memorial in Victoria Gardens as a “self-evident terrorism risk” and a “potential ‘trophy’ site”.

Commenting after his appearance to the inquiry, co-chair of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Lord Eric Pickles said: “We are building a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre next to Parliament to make sure we never forget the persecution and murder of the Jewish people of Europe and all other victims of Nazi persecution.”

Fellow co-chair Ed Balls added: “I believe a vital part of the Memorial is the Learning Centre, which will encourage reflection on the lessons of the past and help people to understand the Holocaust within the British narrative: historically, politically and culturally.

“Visitors to the Learning Centre will confront the immense human calamity caused by the destruction of Europe’s Jewish communities during the Holocaust. They will not only learn what happened, but how it came to pass – highlighting the gradual acceptance of hatred and the stages of prejudice that led to violence.”

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