It has been revealed a controversial study by the National Trust was in-part funded with almost £100,000 of taxpayer money.
The publication, drawn up by Corrine Fowler, Professor of Post-Colonial literature at Leicester University, linked close to 100 National Trust properties to colonialism and the slave trade. The study was commissioned following the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The ‘Common Sense Group’ of Conservative MPs have written to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden demanding an investigation as to why a £99,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was given to a political project.
Lottery grant rules state that the funds cannot be used for political projects.
The Trust has been bombarded with complaints and cancelled subscriptions from angry members due to the charity’s perceived woke, Britain-bashing stance.
The letter by the Common Sense Group, comprised of more than 60 Tory MPs, argued the report was an “ideologically motivated endeavour, designed to revalue Britain’s heritage and rewrite our history.”
The letter added that the study had “caused such offence, and has led to many resignations from the Trust and dismay among volunteers, as the former owners of treasured properties, who bequeathed them to the Trust, have been smeared by accusations and insults.”
The author of the publication, professor Fowler, has since authored a book entitled, “Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections” containing her “own stories and poems written in response to the research she has undertaken and the material subjects she has encountered.” Leicester University has forwarded the book to the government in an attempt to secure an extra £350,000 in funding.
The Common Sense Group has requested that the funding application be denied.
The letter concludes: “We implore you to use the powers available to you as Secretary of State to immediately investigate the provision of taxpayers’ money to support ideological, political causes. Powerful left-wing interests have demonstrated ruthless effectiveness in the suppression of even nominally conservative cultural initiatives.
“Surely now it is time to end any and all public funding provided to radical projects which disparage our nation and despise the history of its people. It is abhorrent that hard working patriots are funding the enormously damaging, unpatriotic pet-projects of well-heeled academics.”
In November last year, the Trust denied they had been “taken over by a bunch of woke folk” during its annual general meeting.