Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes in London Holocaust Memorial debate

The Archbishop of Canterbury has intervened in the Westminster Holocaust memorial debate saying that it is right for the structure to be “right next to the home of our democracy”.

Plans for the project were announced in 2016 by David Cameron, the former prime minister, with the works being led by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

The memorial has been proposed to be built on Victoria Tower Gardens on Millbank and would feature 23 large bronze structures and an underground learning centre dedicated to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis as well as millions of other victims.

However, the Royal Parks charity, which manages the Grade II listed gardens, said that the plans, which have received cross-party support, would have a “significant harmful impact” on the area.

Now the Most Rev Justin Welby has co-signed a letter from national Jewish, Catholic and Muslim leaders to Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster City Council, offering their support for the structure, which would sit in view of the Houses of Parliament.

In a separate letter, the Archbishop spoke of protecting the “memory of the thin line which distinguishes us from the atrocities of the past”.

He added: “Memory comes from experience and education. Experience is deepened by symbolism.”

A Westminster City Council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on live planning applications. The views of the multi-faith group will be considered alongside all others we have received.”