Ann Widdecombe slams 'ignorant' council for suggesting Tulse Hill changes its name due to slavery links
The entire London suburb of Tulse Hill could be renamed by Lambeth Borough Council
Ann Widdecombe has slammed Lambeth Borough Council for suggesting changing the name of the London suburb Tulse Hill to cut to its historic ties with slavery.
Tulse Hill is named after Sir Henry Tulse, a merchant and Lord Mayor of London from the 17th century who was associated with the prolific Royal African Company.
Speaking on GB News' Dan Wootton Tonight, Ms Widdecombe said: "It is nothing short of ignorant, yet they're going to spend oodles of money trying to pretend this chap never existed.
“I think we just have a sort of general madness now that’s lose. I’m waiting for the day when the RSPCA says we should astew any memorials to our ancestors who were cruel to wooly mammoths!
“We’ve got to that stupid stage and the idea that four hundred years ago, they would have the same degree of moral or empathetic development we have now is ignorant. It is nothing short of ignorant."
The council suggested the name change in a questionnaire which asked residents if they thought the street name should be axed.
The proposed move comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a £25,000 initiative to "decolonise" street names in London.
It is part of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm that was founded to review and improve diversity and representation in public spaces across the capital, including statues and landmarks.
Ms Widdecombe went on to talk about expense of such name change proposals.
She said: "I don’t want to hear from any of these councils that they are short of money and that the Government should be giving them more, when they are spending it on nonsense like this.
“It doesn’t just mean going out and hammering in a new nameplate, it means a huge amount of administration and it is so unnecessary at a time when the country is facing severe economic difficulties at no fault of its own.
"You really wonder where their priorities are."
The former member of parliament continued: "History is about making an impartial assessment its not about bringing a bias to it and saying well anything that doesn’t tick these boxes is bad and anything that does is good, that is totally simplistic.
"History is about the growth of human beings, not just about a succession of events”.
Lambeth Council have said it was working "with communities to see if there are local locations with possible links to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism."
A statement added: "What followed is an educational piece of local history research work of the kind that our valued local library archives routinely undertake. There are no plans to rename Tulse Hill, or any other site in the borough, but as a community we have learnt more about our past by holding these conversations.
"This includes highlighting that Tulse Hill is named after the Tulse family, which possibly included Sir Henry Tulse, whose wealth came from profits from the slave trade.
"Lambeth is a richly diverse borough, and the council has been a pioneer since the ‘80s for naming new places and new buildings to reflect local people."This latest piece of work required no extra spending, and has taken Government legislation on the issue fully into account."