Statue of Queen Elizabeth II in Trafalgar Square gets MPs backing
A plan to erect a statue of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Trafalgar Square may have been scuppered by “internal party political shenanagins” by the Tories.
Express.co.uk has discovered the former frontrunner to be the Conservative candidate to be London Mayor next year Paul Scully had intended to have a statue to the late monarch erected on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Mr Scully was left out of the shortlist of three going to Tory members in London after a small selectorate of 17 people controversially kept him off the final list despite him being Minister of London for three years.
It means his plans for a memorial to the late Queen in a spot where millions of visitors flock each year will never see the light of day.
With Sadiq Khan now the strong favourite to win a third term next year, Labour has strongly resisted the idea of the Queen’s statue going on the empty plinth.
The empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square has become a source of controversy as a project which sees it filled with rotating displays of modern art.
Among the displays have been an ice cream cone with flies on it, HMS Victory in a bottle, a giant blue cockerel and a horse skeleton.
Next year, Sadiq Khan has agreed to a display of 850 transgender faces on the fourth plinth.
Modern art on the plinth has proven divisive and after the late Queen’s death last year there was a push to have her statue erected there instead.
Tory London Assembly member Nick Rogers, who had backed Mr Scully, put forward a motion last year to propose the idea which Labour and its allies amended to remove Trafalgar Square.
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A source close to Mr Scully said: “Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was beloved by millions in Britain and around the world. She was an inspiration and her sad passing last year is still greatly mourned.
“As Minister of London Paul was asked many times about erecting a statue to her on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Unfortunately, the decision was in the hands of the Mayor and my hands were tied.
“He could not think of a better place to have a statue for her and was surprised by Sadiq Khan’s unwillingness to support the idea.”
The source went on: “Trafalgar Square is visited by millions each year and is an appropriate location for a statue to our late Queen.
“If he had been elected Mayor, he would have started the process to erect a statue of the late Queen on the fourth plinth with the launch of a public competition.”
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It is understood the plan was to hold a public competition for designs for a statue of the late Queen.
The plan had been backed by Tory MPs last year, but Mr Khan had been reluctant to support it.
However, with Mr Scully now out of the race and not on the Tory shortlist for London Mayor, the plan has been shelved.
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