Memorial for Victims of Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 31 March 2022.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

What assessment he has made of the potential merits of erecting a memorial for victims of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

There is no disputing the horrors of what occurred during the slave trade, which is why we commemorate the annual International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on 23 August.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

A number of my constituents are part of the Memorial 2007 project, which is a campaign to set up a memorial for the millions of Africans enslaved in the transatlantic trade. The right hon. Gentleman’s predecessor promised that he would meet me and the campaigners, but then the schedule did not allow that to happen. Will the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster now commit to meet me and the campaigners of the project?

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

One reason why the UK Government were engaged with the UN memorial in New York was to ensure that the suffering and trauma inflicted as a result of the slave do not happen again, so we contributed to the memorial there. Even as a constituency MP, I think of Thomas Clarkson. There are already memorials of the leading figures in the campaign against slavery, including of Thomas Clarkson who should be remembered alongside Wilberforce. I will ensure that somebody from the Cabinet Office meets the hon. Lady to discuss anything further that we can do.