Liz Truss commits to overcoming obstacles to Holocaust Memorial near Parliament

The candidate for prime minister made the commitment at the Conservative Friends of Israel hustings on Monday evening


Liz Truss told the JC she backs legislation to remove obstacles to the building of the Holocaust Memorial in Westminster.

The long-proposed scheme has been held up by planning objections, but the Tory leadership hopeful said: “I will be staunch in standing up for the need to ensure that the terrible events of the Holocaust are never forgotten, and that means doing what it takes to ensure the Westminster Gardens memorial gets built.”

On Monday evening at a leadership hustings hosted by Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Pickles, who is co-chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board, asked Ms Truss to back it.

“I have a responsibility to see that a memorial and a learning centre are built in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the House of Commons,” he said.

“We have a legal problem. Boris [Johnson] has given his OK to draft a three-clause bill to make that happen.

“The Labour Party have agreed to support it.”

He then asked Ms Truss: “Will you give it time for it to go through the Commons and the Lords?”

Ms Truss said: “That sounds extremely sensible. I supported the project from the beginning. I will definitely look at the Bill and make sure that we get it done.”

The audience warmly applauded Ms Truss response.

Planning permission was granted for the memorial to go ahead in July 2021. But campaigners appealed to the High Court, which overturned the decision last April.

The government’s proposed short Bill would bypass section 8 of the London Council Council (Improvements) Act 1900 which “imposes an enduring obligation to lay out and retain the… land for use as a public garden and integral part of the existing Victoria Tower Gardens”.

Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor standing against Ms Truss for the Conservative Party leadership, has also committed to building the memorial.

Lord Pickles and his Board co-chair Ed Balls write in the JC this week of their determination that the memorial should be built, while Baroness Deech voices her opposition.


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