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The Prime Minister told representatives from the powerful Common Sense group of Tory MP this week during a Downing Street summit that he will be making a speech on the issue to push back on attacks on Britain’s traditions. It came as the row over how British institutions have been infiltrated by the left spread to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich with allegations that it was attempting to “downgrade Nelson’s heroic status”.
The Common Sense group raised the case and that of the National Trust’s decision to insult Winston Churchill in a report linking almost 100 properties to slavery and colonialism.
The Common Sense group, which has more than 50 MPs and 10 peers as members, has written to culture secretary Oliver Dowden to have public funding to the National Maritime Museum and National Trust blocked until they apologise.
A source from the group told the Sunday Express: “Boris is very sound on these issues and he told us he is planning a major speech on the culture wars.
“He asked us to feed through cases like the National Maritime Museum through Downing Street so they could respond and keep on top of them.
“He is quite liberal in some ways but it is obvious he has a deep love for British history and figures like Churchill are close to his heart.”
It is understood that chief of staff Dominic Cummings fellow advisor Munira Mirza are pushing for him to be more robust against attempts to rewrite British history in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protest which led to riots and statues being pulled down.
But there is greater concern that senior corporate figures and people who run national institutions are also pushing the BLM leftwing agenda attacking British history.
The issue is raised today in the Sunday Express by Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns over attempts to review Queen Victoria’s statue in Leeds.
The Common Sense group also this week wrote to the National Maritime Museum’s director Paddy Rodgers to express their disgust after freedom of information requests revealed the plans to undermine the reputation of Britain’s greatest Admiral who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar.
The row has come over a disputed letter which Nelson may have authored where he expressed his dislike for the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.
The Common Sense group letter, copied to the museum’s patrons and the culture secretary, signed by 25 MPs noted: “For more than two centuries, patriotic Britons have celebrated Horatio Nelson as a national hero. A man of towering courage and charisma, his triumph at Trafalgar prevented the victory of French dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte – likely saving England from foreign invasion.”
It went on: “The National Maritime Museum is privileged to serve as the guardian and custodian of Nelson’s Trafalgar coat – the very garment pierced by a bullet on the deck of the Victory. Indeed, the museum’s presentation of Nelson’s triumph at Trafalgar is perhaps its most appealing and important exhibit.”
It informed Mr Rodgers that they have demanded funding is stopped for museum “until such time as your organisation have publicly apologised for disparaging the good name of one of our nation’s greatest heroes, and for the offence you have caused to patriotic Britons.”
In a response to the MPs, Mr Rodgers claimed that his intentions had been misrepresented in the original reporting but acknowledged he had ordered a review when he took up the job.
He noted that the museum has “received numerous complaints from the public”.
He said: “Let me be absolutely clear, there is not, nor has there been, any plan to revise our Gallery Exhibitions on Nelson.”
Mr Rodgers has offered to meet MPs at Greenwich to resolve the issue.
Writing for the Sunday Express, Sir John Hayes, the founder and chairman of the Common Sense group, made it clear MPs are still unhappy with the response and Mr Rodger’s claim that museums have a role to play in reflecting the concerns of the Marxist Black Lives Matter group.
He said: “It is of little matter to those who want to falsify history that Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, just two years after Nelson’s untimely death at Trafalgar. If it hadn’t been for Nelson’s victory Britain would not have possessed the naval power necessary to enforce a ban against the wishes of countries that wanted to perpetuate this barbaric trade in human souls.”
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