In the heat of last summer, it felt like things were changing. As statutes toppled, momentum built. However, recent comments from Communities secretary Robert Jenrick are threatening this momentum. He announced in a recent Telegraph article that before any statue or historic monument is to be removed, planning permission is required. This proposed process means that if a local council wanted to remove a statue but Historic England objects, the Communities secretary will get the final call.
In this impassioned plea, Mr Jenrick said that statues and monuments should not be ‘removed on a whom or at the behest of a baying mob.’ Though, these dramatic comments have been attacked as a mere distraction, to move attention away from criticism over the Government’s handling of the pandemic, time will only tell if it really is.