February 22, 2020

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Calls for Approval of Plans to Build Holocaust Memorial

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Sadiq Khan attends the press preview of "Harry Potter & The Cursed Child" at Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016 in London, England. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images/JTA)

(JTA) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on a local council to approve plans to build a Holocaust memorial next to Parliament.

Khan said in a letter to the Westminster City Council, a borough council in Greater London, that building the Holocaust memorial and museum in Victoria Tower Gardens would “make a powerful national statement,” the UK Jewish News reported.

The plan has been panned by UNESCO, Historic England and The Royal Parks, according to the Evening Standard. The gardens are a UNESCO heritage site and officials say the building could obstruct the view from the gardens. Opponents have called for the Holocaust memorial to be located in a more appropriate location. The Imperial War Museum is located about a mile from Parliament in London, for example.

“I have previously expressed my fear however that these plans would be rejected,” Khan wrote. “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.”

An internal letter leaked last week indicates that the council is “heading towards” recommending the rejection of the planning application, according to reports.

Some $91 million in public funds has been pledged to cover the memorial’s estimated $124 million cost.