London Mayor: 'Approve National Holocaust Memorial'

Sadiq Khan calls on the Westminister borough council to approve Holocaust memorial after thousands object.

Nitzan Keidar ,

London Mayor Sadiq Khan talks to reporters
London Mayor Sadiq Khan talks to reporters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is exerting heavy pressure on the Westminster borough council to approve the construction of the National Holocaust Memorial project.

Khan said he was concerned that the construction of the monument, which is estimated to cost around £102m ($123m), would be rejected in light of thousands of objections filed with the council.

The British government is enthusiastically supporting the construction of the monument but the decision also has many critics due to its location, which would block the view of the UNESCO world heritage site, as well as environmental concerns.

Khan sent a letter to the Westminster Council saying, "The National Holocaust Memorial would be a powerful statement against hatred - helping to ensure we learn the lessons from history, as well as paying tribute to the victims of the Nazi genocide. I urge Westminster Council not to reject these plans."

Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said: “Let us at least agree that everybody understands the importance of the Holocaust Memorial and its importance to Britain for our understanding of history and the experience of so many of our Jewish citizens.

"Instead of fighting pointlessly over this site, or potentially bending planning law, why not work together to have a politics-free discussion about the feasibility of this site, or even a discussion over a potential new site that respects the aims of those who wish to memorialize this brutal episode. We owe it to the victims of the Holocaust to find a solution to this impasse."

Clare Annamalai, of Save Victoria Tower Gardens, said: "The mayor is the latest politician trying to bludgeon this unpopular project through despite growing misgivings within the Jewish community about its effectiveness at tackling antisemitism and the environmental concerns of The Royal Parks and UNESCO."

"Westminster Council is simply trying to apply planning law. The mayor is playing political games."