Exeter’s Buller statue SAVED after Labour council backs down

Exeter City Council has backed down in its attempts to relocate a statue of Sir Redvers Henry Buller from its prominent position in the town.

Sir Redvers Buller served in the British Army for 43 years and was awarded the Victoria Cross for rescuing a number of comrades while under fire in the Zulu War.

Councillors had voted to apply for permission to move the iconic statue of the military veteran after a review into its “continued appropriateness” recommended its relocation due to the army general’s connection to the British Empire.

The review had said its current location outside Exeter College was “inappropriate” because the educational establishment “includes young people from diverse backgrounds.”

However the Labour council has now proposed to remove the recommendation to relocate following communities secretary Robert Jenrick’s recent pledge to protect Britain’s cultural heritage.

Mr Jenrick has promised new legislation to restrict the power of local authorities from pulling down treasured statues and monuments, without government sign off.

“Latterly there has been an attempt to impose a single, often negative narrative [about British culture] which not so much recalls our national story, as seeks to erase part of it,” Jenrick recently wrote in the Telegraph.

“This has been done at the hand of the flash mob, or by the decree of a “cultural committee” of town hall militants and woke worthies,” he added.

Exeter Council Leader Phil Bialyk said of the decision not to proceed with relocating the Buller statue: “In light of the comments by the Secretary of State my Executive will be asked to amend the recommendations, and we will not be submitting a planning application to relocate the Buller statue.

“But I must stress that we will be addressing the issues which first brought this to the attention of many councillors.

“There are a number of important recommendations about equality and diversity in our city that we will be taking forward. The Council should look to make sure we are doing all we can to be aware of the particular images and messages that public art and monuments may express, and strive to make these as representative of our inclusive and diverse communities as possible.”