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25 Jan, 2018 16:04

Keir Starmer goads Thatcherites with one-word anti-statue tweet

Keir Starmer goads Thatcherites with one-word anti-statue tweet

Keir Starmer is flirting with controversy, taking to Twitter to share his glee at Westminster City Council’s rejection of a proposed statue of Margaret Thatcher. “Good” the MP said, making his feelings succinctly clear.

The Labour MP took to social media on Wednesday to express his feelings, but was met with ire from the Twittersphere for his reaction to the rejected proposal.

However, the one-word comment from the shadow secretary of state for Brexit also inspired messages of support from anti-Thatcher Twitter users.

Regardless of Twitter’s point of view, the proposed statue was blocked by Westminster Council. Councilors were reportedly concerned that the monument, which was to be erected in Parliament Square, would face vandalism by protesters.

“There have been a number of objections from the Royal Parks, the Parliamentary Strategic Estates, the Westminster Society, the Thorney Island Society, the adjacent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and third parties,” the council said in its report.

“The grounds of objection relate to the appropriateness of the subject matter, the concern over possible civil disobedience and vandalism, [and] the depiction of the figure in State Robes…” Officials said that showing Thatcher in state robes “does not reflect her role as prime minister, for which she is being memorialized,” and that there was already a statue of her in the Commons which members of the public can view.

Westminster Council also touched on the 10-year rule, under which monuments are erected to individuals only a decade after their deaths. The council did admit, however, that this wasn't the reason that the £300,000 (US$430,000) statue was rejected.

The planned monument, which had already been funded by private donations, was set to stand between the memorials of 19th-century Prime Minister George Canning and former US President Abraham Lincoln.

Concerns over “statue saturation” were also raised, as the Thatcher memorial site was close to that of a proposed statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

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