The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has written to Westminster City Council, urging them to give planning permission for the proposed Holocaust Memorial, in Victoria Tower Gardens, near to the Houses of Parliament.
The site of the Memorial has become very controversial, with history-lovers and organizations such as The Royal Parks and UNESCO expressing concerns that it will spoil the current views and atmosphere in a world heritage area, while some Jewish groups are worried that it will be a focus for anti-Semitism and will require heavy security.
In his letter to Westminster Council leaders, Mr. Khan spoke out strongly in favor of the Memorial in its current proposed location, saying:
“As we see the scourge of anti-Semitism and hate crime increasing across our country, now more than ever we need a National Holocaust Memorial, so we can learn the lessons from history, as well as pay tribute to the victims of the Nazi genocide.
“It will show our commitment to fighting extremism and intolerance in all forms and make a powerful national statement about our democracy and its values, reminding us what can happen when hatred is left unchecked.
“I have previously expressed my fear, however, that these plans would be rejected. Westminster City Council must follow the proper consultation process for this planning application and show transparency by fully explaining how it reached its decision.
“I therefore urge Westminster City Council not to reject these plans and instead enable this hugely important national Memorial to take its rightful place in the heart of the capital and close to the seat of national government.”
The design of the Memorial, which includes an education center, was chosen in a design competition, by a combination of public feedback and a judging panel, of which Mr. Khan was a member.
Mr. Khan has a very good relationship with the Jewish community, and has both attended and hosted events which commemorate the Holocaust, during his time as Mayor.