Death Threats over Holocaust Memorial

Minister for Communities Robert Jenrick says his family have received death threats and abuse because of his involvement in the proposal for a national Holocaust memorial at Westminster.

Robert Jenrick MPCommunities Minister Robert Jenrick

A High Court ruling on Monday stated that he acted properly regarding the planning application, prompting him to say in an interview:

“The behaviour of some of the opponents to the memorial has been shocking and disgraceful.
The fact that I have been subjected to these smears, and my family to antisemitic abuse and death threats
only shows the paramount importance of the memorial.”

Threats to burn down his home have resulted in him being granted protection from counter-terrorism police.

Plans to place the Holocaust memorial next to Parliament are controversial for several reasons, including the claim that they would create a target that would draw terrorist attacks.

The proposal is to put the memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens on Millbank but the BBC reports that a planning inquiry has been told the landmark would be a self-evident terrorism risk.

Westminster City Council have rejected the plan, but it is the government that will make the final decision following a public inquiry which starts today.

The plans have significant support from more than 170 MPs and peers. Last week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the Jewish Chronicle the memorial was “vital” to educate future generations about the Holocaust.

Artist`s impression of proposed memorialArtist`s impression of proposed Holocaust memorial

Also supporting the plans are London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and several previous prime ministers.

Baroness Ruth Deech is one of those strongly opposed to the plans. She has repeated her claim that:

“Jewish tragedy is being used for a political project … It is not by fetishising the UK Parliament
as the cradle of democracy and bulwark against evil that we will overcome centuries of Jew hatred,
but by effective teaching.”

That comment seems a little strange given that teaching is to be an important part of the project.

Others who have expressed concerns about it include some conservation groups who warn of potential harm to Victoria Tower Gardens, a Grade II listed park.