‘No truth’ in claims Churchill will be censored despite report into ‘hated’ legacy


The Welsh government has said there is “no truth” in claims it was looking to rename streets and buildings honouring historical figures such as Winston Churchill.

The government in Cardiff published an anti-racist Wales plan last year after an audit of slave trade-linked commemoration was undertaken in the months after George Floyd’s death in the US state of Minneapolis.

First Minister Mark Drakeford appointed a task and finish group in July 2020 to gather and look at evidence relating to public monuments, as well as street and building names, associated with the slave trade and the British Empire.

The audit described Churchill, who was the UK’s prime minister for the majority of the Second World War, as “widely hated in South Wales mining communities”.

It cited his actions as Home Secretary during the Tonypandy riots – which were deemed by some as an overreaction.

The main criticism levelled at him in some of these communities involved his decision to authorise the deployment of troops during the strikes in 1911.

But Tom Giffard, the Welsh Conservatives’ shadow culture minister, said Winston Churchill was the reason free debate could be had and any attempt to revise history was “ridiculous”.

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Claims streets and buildings commemorating figures such as Churchill and Horatio Nelson would be renamed in Wales were first reported by The Mail.

They were flatly denied by a Welsh government spokesperson.

“The audit was first published in 2020, identifying public monuments, street and building names associated with the slave trade and the British Empire,” they said.

“This, and the guidance that is in preparation, has the purpose of helping public bodies reach well-informed decisions about existing and future commemorations.”

The spokesperson went on to say that the guidance does not make any specific recommendations and all decisions would be developed through consultation with the public.

The Welsh government is expected to outline the next steps for its anti-racism plan in June next year.