The charitable foundation which owns Guy’s Hospital in London has confirmed plans to relocate a statue of the hospital’s founder to a “less prominent” place in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, despite 75 per cent of the public rejecting the plans during its consultation.
The Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation which owns the statue claims it has a “duty” to move the statue and to install a plaque highlighting founder Thomas Guy’s historic links to the slave trade more than three centuries ago.
The foundation has been accused by anti-woke campaigners of ignoring its own recent public consultation, in which 3,197 people responded to its plans and 75 per cent of respondents felt the statue of Thomas Guy should remain in its current place.
In its findings however, the foundation complains that its review was promoted by anti-woke campaigners online and argues that this may have led to an inaccurate reading of the public mood as justification for proceeding to ignore its own consultation and relocate the statue.
The foundation has thus recommended that “the statue of Thomas Guy should be relocated to a less prominent location on the campus at London Bridge.
“Information about how he made his wealth, in particular his investments in a company whose profits relied on the trade of enslaved people, must be made public knowledge both at the relocation site and in all related media,” it added.
The foundation’s review claimed that there was “a growing belief that history has to be ‘decolonised'” – again, despite 75 per cent of respondents telling the foundation otherwise.
Kieron Boyle, chief executive of the now-woke Guy’s and St Thomas’ foundation said: “Like many organisations in Britain, slavery is part of our history, and we believe we have a duty to address its legacies.
“Being a charitable foundation focused on improving health involves tackling the health inequalities we see every day affecting Black communities, and making sure the public realm surrounding hospitals is welcoming to everyone.
“Last year we committed to making decisions on the statues of Sir Robert Clayton and Thomas Guy based on a strong understanding of the facts, and the views held about them. Through the independent consultation, we heard from a broad range of voices, including those communities most local to the statues. We sought to balance these in making our decision.”