Andrew Marr grills Yvette Cooper over Labour’s Covid position
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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the move so the country’s top cultural organisations have “the courage to stand up against the political fads and noisy movements of the moment”. His announcement was prompted after liberals have been accused of trying to scrub away the UK’s history with recent protests.
One of the most notable examples was when a statue of former slave trader Edward Colston was torn down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol last summer.
This prompted numerous other statues to be removed and several schools, named after “controversial” historical figures, to announce that they will adopt new names.
While acknowledging the UK’s history is far from spotless, many argued that people should be judged in the context of the time in which they lived.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Dowden said he will take “not a Maoist approach but a ‘moreist approach’ to our heritage”.
He said: “I want more statues erected; more chapters added to our national narrative and more understanding of it. In short, more history, not less.”
He added: “And as national institutions, heritage organisations should take into account the views of the entire nation: the people for whom they were set up, and whose taxes pay for them.
“That’s why I want to make sure the boards of these bodies are genuinely diverse and not solely governed by people from metropolitan bubbles.
“I want a grandparent in Hartlepool or Harwich to feel as represented by their decisions as a millennial in Islington.”
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Separately regulations will be amended so that buildings used by the public have separate ladies and gents lavatories.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick announced the move in a blow for campaigners who want more gender-neutral facilities.
It comes as a train company apologised last week after a conductor greeted passengers by saying “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls”.
London North Eastern Railway said it would “review if any further changes need to be made” after South Western Railway train guard Laurence Coles complained about the gender-specific terms.
It later tweeted that it would encourage staff to speak “with no gender mentioned” to avoid offending non-binary passengers.
A source told the Daily Mail that its existing guidance told staff to “welcome all customers onboard” to get around the issue.
In a reply to their complaint, the rail operator said: ‘I’m really sorry to see this, Laurence, our Train Managers should not be using language like this, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.
“Please could you let me know which service you are on and I will ensure they remain as inclusive as we strive to be at LNER.”
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