EXCLUSIVE – Baseball bat-wielding hero tells of dramatic moment he waded in to help Met Police officer grappling on ground with a suspect as baying mob took grinning selfies, ‘Somebody had to help him’: Baseball bat-wielding hero tells of dramatic moment he waded in to help Met Police officer grappling on ground with a suspect as baying mob took grinning selfies


Kemranspotted the officer in trouble outside a block of flats in Hackney, east London, yesterday and ran downstairs to intervene before the officer was seriously hurt

The brave hero seen brandishing a baseball bat in shocking footage of a Metropolitan Police officer being attacked by a mob in London has told today how he instinctively ran to help the helpless officer.

Kemran, who didn’t want to give his surname, spotted the officer in trouble outside a block of flats in Hackney, east London, yesterday and ran downstairs to intervene before the officer was seriously hurt.

While others filmed the violent attack on their phones – with one grinning youth posing for a selfie next to the PC who was struggling with a suspect on the ground – Kemran tried to diffuse the situation.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, the 23-year-old said: ‘Nobody was doing anything other than film it on their mobile phones so I decided I had to help him.

‘I would have done the same for anyone being attacked by a bigger group. If I’d seen a black guy being attacked by a group of white guys I’d go and help the black guy.

Kemran acted as a shield for the officer while trying to ward away the small crowd who were still trying to aim punches and kicks. He told MailOnline today how he tried to reason with the youths, telling them to back off for their own good so they were not arrested.

‘The officer was hit and kicked a few times and I was doing my best to keep those guys away from him without being overly aggressive and making the situation much worse,’ he said.

‘I just saw a lone officer needing help and I knew if anything bad happened the whole estate would be given a bad name which is why I decided to step in.’

Recalling the drama, father-of-one Kemran told MailOnline today: ‘I was in the living room yesterday afternoon when I heard a load of shouting outside so I went to the balcony to see what was going on.

‘I could see a lone police officer on the grass outside the block being attacked by a group of men and he was heavily outnumbered. The officer was clearly in a very uncomfortable situation.

‘I have a baseball bat that I use to play with the dog, I hit balls for her to chase down the park.

‘I grabbed the bat and went downstairs. My aim was to not take any side but try and diffuse the tension.

‘There is a lot of anger on the street at the moment between the black community and police. I was trying to tell these boys who had circled the officer to move back.

‘I told them not to act on their anger as they would get into trouble. I was telling them that when other police got here all they would see is one of their colleagues on the floor after being attacked and they’d arrest everyone in sight, including me. I was concerned for them and concerned for the officer.

‘I was shielding him as best I could to make sure people left him alone.’

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh praised Kemran’s bravery, saying: ‘The man seen with the baseball bat was actually trying to help the officer.He’d seen him being assaulted by a number of men and got himself in between the officer and his attackers.While others sought only to film the incident, this man did something to try and stop it and for that deserves a lot of praise.’

Mob rule: The male officer, kneeling, keeps his hands on his prisoner as passersby attack him and his female colleague, facing the camera second-left.

Mob rule: The male officer, kneeling, keeps his hands on his prisoner as passersby attack him and his female colleague, facing the camera second-left.

A grinning youth poses for a photo with the melee unfolding behind him as the officer on the ground wrestles with the suspect

A grinning youth poses for a photo with the melee unfolding behind him as the officer on the ground wrestles with the suspect

Metropolitan Police Federation chair Ken Marsh, pictured,said: 'We are not society's punchbags. We have families we want to go home to at the end of every shift. But the dangers are stark. And seemingly escalating'

National chair of the Police Federation, John Apter, pictured, described the scenes as 'stomach-churning' and said: 'How dare people stand by and video my colleagues in distress?'

Metropolitan Police Federation chair Ken Marsh, pictured left,said: ‘We are not society’s punchbags,’ as national chair John Apter, pictured right, added:’How dare people stand by and video my colleagues in distress?’

In a firm statement on Twitter this morning, pictured, the Metropolitan Police said:'Officers should be able to go about their work, protecting the public, without fear of abuse or attack...being assaulted is not 'part of the job''

In a firm statement on Twitter this morning, pictured, the Metropolitan Police said:’Officers should be able to go about their work, protecting the public, without fear of abuse or attack…being assaulted is not ‘part of the job”

Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote another message today in response to the attack in which she said: 'Perpetrators should be in no doubt that they will face the full force of the law'

Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote another message today in response to the attack in which she said: ‘Perpetrators should be in no doubt that they will face the full force of the law’

Mr Marsh warned attacks on officers seem to be increasing as footage emerged of the shocking scenes, which unfolded yesterday on a London street and were filmed from a nearby car before appearing online.

They show a uniformed PC tackling a man to the ground in Hackney, northeast London, before other men aim punches and kicks at the officer and a man appears brandishing a baseball bat.

As a crowd gathers, rather than coming to the PC’s aid, people instead pose for mobile phone selfies with the officer grappling in the background, and jostle with his female colleague.

Two men, aged 20 and 32, were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer immediately after the incident, which left both officers with minor injuries but not needing hospital treatment.

Met Police have revealed a 13-year-old boy was arrested later on Wednesday evening, while officers arrested a 34-year-old man earlier today – both on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

Home Secretary Priti Patel led the condemnation, describing the attack as ‘sickening, shocking, disgraceful’, while Mr Marsh said: ‘We are not society’s punchbags. We have families we want to go home to at the end of every shift. But the dangers are stark. And seemingly escalating.’

Meanwhile, the national chair of the Police Federation, John Apter, described the scenes as ‘stomach-churning’ and said: ‘How dare people stand by and video my colleagues in distress?’

The Metropolitan Police also issued a firm statement on Twitter this morning, which read: ‘Yesterday, two officers from@MPSHackneywere attacked whilst assisting someone in need of help.

‘Officers should be able to go about their work, protecting the public, without fear of abuse or attack.Two men have been arrested.

‘Being assaulted is not ‘part of the job’.’

The suspect the policeman was tackling had been pointed out to police by members of the public following reports of an assault, the Met said last night and arrests were later made.

Taking to Twitter after seeing the footage, Ms Patel branded it ‘sickening, shocking and disgraceful’. ‘My thoughts are with the outstanding officers who were subject to this disgusting violent attack,’ she said.

In another message, referencing the Met’s tweet, she added: ‘All assaults on our brave police are completely unacceptable.

The officer falls to the ground after wrapping his arm around another man's neck and trying to throw him to the ground

He radios for help as he tries to bring the man under control

As the incident unfolds, the officer falls to the ground after wrapping his arm around another man’s neck and trying to throw him to the ground

A man in a Puma top run slowly to the scene

Rather than helping the officer the man gets his mobile phone out and starts filming as the suspect is heard screaming at the officer to leave him alone

A man in a Puma top runs slowly to the scene but rather than helping the officer he gets his mobile phone out and starts filming as the suspect is heard screaming at the officer to leave him alone

One man charged toward the altercation in Hackney, east London, carrying a baseball bat, although he later appeared to be acting as a peacemaker. Moments later the officer was punched in the back of the head

One man charged toward the altercation in Hackney, east London, carrying a baseball bat, although he later appeared to be acting as a peacemaker. Moments later the officer was punched in the back of the head

Passersby jostle the female officer who came to her colleague's aid

The man in the Puma top appears to aim a kick at the officer, though it was not clear if he connected

As the melee develops, left, the bystanders jostle with a female officer who tried to protect her colleague, while others aimed kicks and punches at the male officer on the ground

As the officer gets to his knees, one of the crowd appears to place him in a headlock, while a second officer at the scene tries to intervene

As the officer gets to his knees, one of the crowd appears to place him in a headlock, while a second officer at the scene tries to intervene

SAGE ADVISOR WARNS RIOTS COULD BREAK OUT IN THE UK

Riots could break out across the UK this summer as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic take hold, a scientific adviser to the government has warned.

Professor Clifford Stott said there is a risk of disorder on a scale last seen during the London riots in August 2011

Professor Clifford Stott said there is a risk of disorder on a scale last seen during the London riots in August 2011

Professor Clifford Stott a member of Number 10’s SAGE panel said that urgent efforts are needed by police forces to quell any potential unrest in the local areas they serve and called for more ‘bobbies on the beat’.

He claimed mass job losses and rising unemployment due to the effects of Covid-19, coupled with concerns about racial and economic inequality, could all contribute to rioting.

The social psychologist, based at Keele University, warned a possible divide between poorer and more affluent areas brought on by local lockdowns, if brought into force, could also have an effect.

He told PA: ‘If the police don’t invest in building positive police-community relations now, there is a potential for serious and large public disorder to emerge this summer.

‘I think in the worst case scenario it’s not inconceivable that we could have disorder on a scale equivalent to August 2011.

‘What we need to do is to make sure we start addressing the underlying causes now, so the conditions that led to the 2011 riots are not in place should we get a precipitating incident.

‘Put simply, the most effective thing that the police can do is put bobbies on the beat.’

‘Perpetrators should be in no doubt that they will face the full force of the law.Actions have consequences.’

Hours after the attack, Hackney’s own borough commander, Marcus Barnett, said: ‘This is truly despicable & society should never accept such behaviour – we are here to protect you! The officers are safe, but clearly shaken & incredibly brave too. Arrests will be made… this must stop.’

Today Mr Barnett added: ‘Thousands of people, including myself and the officers colleagues, have seen the video of this incident circulating on social media and have been horrified by what happened.

‘My officers were in the process of making an arrest when they were attacked. They have suffered cuts and bruises and thank goodness they were not seriously injured. They have been back out at work today, which is testament to their dedication. We have ensured the welfare of the officers and they continue to be supported by their colleagues.

‘An investigation into the incident is ongoing and a number of arrests have been made.

‘Police officers do not come to work to be attacked. I have been an officer for 27 years and incidents such as this still shock me. It is never OK. We are engaging with our community partners to discuss what happened and I hope that anyone who witnessed what happened comes forward and speaks with us.’

And London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘I utterly condemn the disgraceful attack on two Metropolitan Police officers.

‘These brave officers were doing their duty and assisting the public. We owe them a debt of gratitude and I wish them a full and speedy recovery.

‘Attacks on our police will not be tolerated. I urge anyone with information to come forward to ensure the perpetrators of this disgusting attack feel the full force of the law.’

The two officers were flagged down at 3.30pm yesterday afternoon by a member of the public who reported an assault. The victim pointed out their attacker and officers went to speak to those involved, the Met said.

A force spokesman said: ‘As an officer attempted to speak with those involved, one of the men resisted and a struggle ensued. A number of other people became involved whilst the officer was on the ground.’

Footage shared online shows a uniformed officer with his arm around a suspect’s neck.

He appears to try and throw the suspect to the ground, but instead they both end up on their backs.

As the officer calls for backup, the man he was trying to detain repeatedly shouts ‘Leave me the f*** alone,’ while holding one of the officer’s wrists.

Four people, two on bikes, quickly crowd around the altercation. Two more men arrive, one carrying a baseball bat.

Seconds later, a punch appears to land on the back of the officer’s head, who is still on the floor.

As one member of the crowd leans over to shout at the officer, his colleague arrives at the scene and screams at the crowd to ‘get back’.

When she attempts to push the crowd away, they grab at her arms and begin to shout at her.

One of the crowd then dances in front of the altercation, while appearing to take a selfie.

In a separate video, members of the crowd are seen kicking at the female officer’s legs as she tries to break apart her colleague from the suspect.

Superintendent Martin Rolston, from the Central East Command Unit, said: ‘This incident, which was captured on someone’s mobile phone is truly shocking.

‘My officers went to the assistance of a member of the public who asked for their help after stating that they had been assaulted. What happened next is a reminder of the risks our officers take whilst going about their duties.

‘It is fortunate that their injuries are not more serious. There is no place for this level of violence on our streets.

‘We are engaging with our community partners to discuss what happened and I hope that anyone who witnessed what happened comes forward and speaks with us.’

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, slammed the ‘horrific, stomach-churning scenes’.

‘Disgusting behaviour from those who attack the officers, those who film what’s going on and those who do nothing. They are cowards, the lot of them,’ he said.

In an interview on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, he said there had been a 27 per cent increase in officers being injured in assaults over the last 12 months, while there were more than 30,000 attacks on officers in England and Wales alone in 2018/19 – equivalent to 85 every single day.

He added: ‘I’ve got mixed feelings on things being videoed, because on one hand, how dare people stand by and video my colleagues in distress?

‘Far too many stand back rather than assist anybody in trouble. I accept we have to manage our own risks but when people are in trouble, as a citizen you should step forward.

‘It’s almost like a hobby now for some to video an attack on a police officer and put it on social media – not to assist an investigation but to mock my colleagues and to almost encourage violence against them.

‘Our colleagues need to be given the equipment and support to be able to defend themselves and other members of the public and sometimes we worry too much about what things look like on our television screens rather than the safety of my colleagues.’

Mayor of Hackney Phillip Glanville told followers: ‘Anyone seeing these videos tonight will be as shocked & horrified as I am by this attack on two Hackney police officers. My thoughts are with both officers & praise their bravery when faced with this situation. Our police are here to protect us & scenes like this are unacceptable.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the footage from Hackney this afternoon as 'Sickening, shocking and disgraceful'. Two men were arrested and remain in custody at an East London police station tonight

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the footage from Hackney this afternoon as ‘Sickening, shocking and disgraceful’. Two men were arrested and remain in custody at an East London police station tonight

Meanwhile Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for next year’s London Mayoral elections, linked the incident to the Black Lives Matter protests, which saw police criticised for failing to take a tougher line with demonstrators.

‘This is what happens when you try to appease the mob,’ he tweeted. ‘You lose control of the streets.’

POLICE ‘ARE NOT SOCIETY’S PUNCHBAGS’

Senior police chiefs have responded to Wednesday afternoon’s attack.

Met Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said: ‘We are not society’s punchbags. We have families we want to go home to at the end of every shift. But the dangers are stark. And seemingly escalating.’

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, said: ‘Horrific, stomach churning scenes.

‘Disgusting behaviour from those who attack the officers, those who film what’s going on and those who do nothing. They are cowards, the lot of them.’

Hackney’s own borough commander, Marcus Barnett, said: ‘This is truly despicable & society should never accept such behaviour – we are here to protect you!

‘The officers are safe, but clearly shaken & incredibly brave too. Arrests will be made… this must stop.’

On Monday Priti Patel told MPs that at least 35 officers had been injured during Black Lives Matter protests in London as she said she ‘salutes their bravery’.

She said: ‘As the ugly tally of officer assaults shows some protesters regrettably turned to violence and abusive behaviour at the weekend.

‘This hooliganism is utterly indefensible. There is no justification for it. There is no excuse for pelting flares at brave officers, throwing bikes at police horses, attempting to disrespect the Cenotaph or vandalising the statue of Winston Churchill, one of the greatest protectors of our freedoms who has ever lived.

‘It is not for mobs to tear down statues and cause criminal damage in our streets and it is not acceptable for thugs to racially abuse black police officers for doing their jobs.

‘The criminals responsible for these unlawful and reckless acts are betraying the very cause that they purport to serve.’

Ms Patel visited police horses in Lewisham yesterday.

The horses had been deployed as police officers across the capital responded to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Following the visit, Ms Patel tweeted: ‘Today I met Rupert, a (Metropolitan Police) who worked last weekend during the protests.

‘I also spoke to the family of the officer who was badly injured after falling from her horse. She is thankfully doing well. Proud to stand with these brave men and women.’

The two men arrested in Hackney remained in custody this morning. Anyone with information is asked to call police via 101 quoting reference Cad 4315/10Jun.

Now memorial to founder of London’s world-famous Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital could be removed due to his ties to slavery – as minister says NO slave trader should have a statue in Britain

  • Cardiff City Council is backing the removal of Sir Thomas Picton from its city hall over his slave ownership
  • An obelisk dedicated to him in Carmarthen, after he was killed at Waterloo, is also in the firing line
  • All 130 Labour councils have promised to ‘review the appropriateness of local monuments and statues’
  • Dozens of memorials honouring colonial figures have been targeted for removal by activists on a hit list
  • The monument of 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan was uprooted from its spot on West India Quay

The internationally-renowned Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London has today revealed it will consider whether to remove a statue of its founder Sir Thomas Guy – but will not change its name – as a senior minister backed aBlack Lives Matter campaign to topple upwards of 70 monuments to slave traders.

Sir Thomas helped set up the hospital near London Bridge in 1721 having made his fortune in the 17th and 18th centuries as a major shareholder of a company sellingslaves to the Spanish Colonies.

Today Guy’s and St Thomas’ welcomed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s review of statues and street names in the capital and said the future of its own monument to its founder outside the Guy’s building should be considered.

A statue of Sir Thomas Guy, sits outside Guy's Hospital, which he founded in 1721 with 19,000 of his own money, equivalent to 2million today. Today the NHS Trust admitted it would consider its removal in a review set up by Sadiq Khan demands it because he made his money from slavery. Former bookseller Thomas Guy made his fortune through the ownership of shares in the South Sea Company, which had a monopoly on trafficking slaves to Spain's colonies in South America in 1713

A statue of Sir Thomas Guy, sits outside Guy’s Hospital, which he founded in 1721 with 19,000 of his own money, equivalent to 2million today. Today the NHS Trust admitted it would consider its removal in a review set up by Sadiq Khan demands it because he made his money from slavery. Former bookseller Thomas Guy made his fortune through the ownership of shares in the South Sea Company, which had a monopoly on trafficking slaves to Spain’s colonies in South America in 1713

A spokesman said: ‘We recognise and understand the anger felt by the black community and are fully committed to playing our part in ending racism, discrimination and inequality’, adding: ‘There are no plans to change the name of the hospital’.

Today Boris Johnson’sBusiness and Industry MinisterNadhim Zahawi, who was born in Iraq and moved to the UK with his Kurdish parents aged nine, said there should be no statues of slave traders in Britain.

Mr Zahawi said they should not be torn down illegally like Edward Colston’s in Bristol, but said: ‘Any slave trader should not have a statue. But I wouldn’t be breaking the law to take statues down, it should be done through our democratic process. It should be up to local people to decide what they want to do. If the majority of people decide that we want the statues down, then they should be taken down’.

Black Lives Matter and 'slave owner' were among the phrases daubed on the statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds before being removed today.

Black Lives Matter and ‘slave owner’ were among the phrases daubed on the statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor Park in Leeds before being removed today.

The next to fall? This tribute toSir Thomas Picton in Cardiff City Hall is expected to fall after the council's leader also demanded its removal

There are at least five statues of two-time British prime minister Sir Robert Peel also under threat because his MP father, also called Robert Peel, campaigned for slavery to continue. Sir Robery Peel is also known as the 'Father of Modern Policing' after he set up the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829.

The next to fall? This tribute toSir Thomas Picton in Cardiff City Hall is expected to fall after the council’s leader also demanded its removal.There are at least five statues of two-time British prime minister Sir Robert Peel (right in Parliament Square) also under threat because his MP father, also called Robert Peel, campaigned for slavery to continue

An aerial view of the Sir Thomas Picton obelisk on Picton Terrace in Camerthen, Wales, which is also on the BLM supporters' hit list. Picton was known as the 'Tyrant of Trinidad' owing to his brutalregime as governor of the Caribbean island.In 1806 he was convicted of ordering the illegal torture of a 14-year-old girl, Louisa Calderon. A charge that was later overturned.

An aerial view of the Sir Thomas Picton obelisk on Picton Terrace in Camerthen, Wales, which is also on the BLM supporters’ hit list. Picton was known as the ‘Tyrant of Trinidad’ owing to his brutalregime as governor of the Caribbean island.In 1806 he was convicted of ordering the illegal torture of a 14-year-old girl, Louisa Calderon. A charge that was later overturned.

At least 72 memorials honouring colonial figures have been targeted for destruction of activists on its 'Topple the Racists' website and yesterday they forced the removal of 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan from outside the Museum of London in West India Quay, Docklands

At least 72 memorials honouring colonial figures have been targeted for destruction of activists on its ‘Topple the Racists’ website and yesterday they forced the removal of 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan from outside the Museum of London in West India Quay, Docklands

Now at least 72 memorials honouring colonial figures have been targeted for destruction of activists on its ‘Topple the Racists’ website and yesterday they forced the removal of 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan from outside the Museum of London in West India Quay, Docklands.

The removal of a statue of the so-called ‘Tyrant of Trinidad’ Sir Thomas Picton from Cardiff city hall is nearing success as all of Labour’s 130 UK local authoritiesagreed to draw up a list of controversial statues in their communities which could be ripped down after Edward Colston’s was destroyed in Bristol on Sunday.

Cardiff City Council’s leaderHuw Thomas has backed the campaign to rip it downcalling it an ‘affront’ to black people in the Welsh capital because he executeddozens of slaves. He was even put ontrial in England for illegally torturing a 14-year-old girl – extremely rare at the turn of the 19th century – but after being convicted he successfully appealed.

While noting Picton’s statue commemorated his part in the Napoleonic Wars and being the highest ranking officer to die at Waterloo, Councillor Thomas said: ‘The growing awareness and understanding of the brutal nature of his governorship of Trinidad and his involvement in slavery makes it, in my view, very difficult to reconcile his presence in City Hall’.

A 25ft obelisk dedicated to him on the outskirts of Carmarthen town centre, which has been there since 1888, is also subject to a petition for removal. It stands onPicton Terrace, which also faces calls to be renamed.

The next in line? BLM supporters have pinpointed a list of their next targets, but the most widely shared are (top left to bottom right) 1) Lord Nelson  tried to stop abolition (Nelson's column) 2) Sir Thomas Picton 3) Thomas Guy - London, Guy's Hospital 4) Sir Robert Peel 5) Sir Francis Drake 6) William Beckford 7) Henry Dundas 8) Clive of India 9) John Cass 10) General Sir Redvers Buller 11) Lord Kitchener 12) Ronald Fisher 13) Lord Grey - Grey's Monument - Newcastle Upon Tyne, Grainger Street 14) Oliver Cromwell  Statue - London, Houses of Parliament 15) Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde  Statue - Glasgow, George Square 16) William Ewart Gladstone 17) William Leverhulme  Statue - Wirral, outside Lady Lever Art Gallery 18) William Armstrong - Memorial - Newcastle Upon Tyne, Eldon Place 19) King James II  Statue - London, Trafalgar Square 20) General James George Smith Neill, Wellington Square, Ayr

The next in line? BLM supporters have pinpointed a list of their next targets, but the most widely shared are (top left to bottom right) 1) Lord Nelson tried to stop abolition (Nelson’s column) 2) Sir Thomas Picton 3) Thomas Guy – London, Guy’s Hospital 4) Sir Robert Peel 5) Sir Francis Drake 6) William Beckford 7) Henry Dundas 8) Clive of India 9) John Cass 10) General Sir Redvers Buller 11) Lord Kitchener 12) Ronald Fisher 13) Lord Grey – Grey’s Monument – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Grainger Street 14) Oliver Cromwell Statue – London, Houses of Parliament 15) Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde Statue – Glasgow, George Square 16) William Ewart Gladstone 17) William Leverhulme Statue – Wirral, outside Lady Lever Art Gallery 18) William Armstrong – Memorial – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Eldon Place 19) King James II Statue – London, Trafalgar Square 20) General James George Smith Neill, Wellington Square, Ayr

BLM had their first success last night after the Museum of London and Tower Hamlets Council agreed to remove a statue of Robert Milligan, a slave trader and plantation owner, from Docklands

BLM had their first success last night after the Museum of London and Tower Hamlets Council agreed to remove a statue of Robert Milligan, a slave trader and plantation owner, from Docklands

Exeter City Council, a Labour authority,will review the future of the city's statue of General Redvers Buller - who was linked to the introduction of concentration camps in the Boer War. The Old Etonian was awarded the Victoria Cross in the Zulu War after rescuing a number of comrades under fire, before being promoted to the Head of the Army and sent to South Africa at the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899.

Exeter City Council, a Labour authority,will review the future of the city’s statue of General Redvers Buller – who was linked to the introduction of concentration camps in the Boer War. The Old Etonian was awarded the Victoria Cross in the Zulu War after rescuing a number of comrades under fire, before being promoted to the Head of the Army and sent to South Africa at the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899.

There are at least five statues of two-time British prime minister Sir Robert Peel also under threat because his MP father, also called Robert Peel, campaigned for slavery to continue. His son is considered the father of the modern police, after setting up the Met as Home Secretary in 1829. Some BLM supporters are also angry because of his links to policing.

In Edinburgh SNP city council leader Adam McVey said he would feel ‘no sense of loss’ if a statue to Henry Dundas, who delayed the abolition of slavery, was removed, amid mounting calls for action in the Scottish capital.

Also in Scotland a memorial to General James George Smith Neill, which stands in Wellington Square, Ayr, is also under threat.General Neillserved during the Indian rebellion of 1857 and accused of ordering the deaths of manyIndians following the Bibighar massacre.

Plymouth council said a public square named after slave trader Sir John Hawkins would be renamed while in nearby Exeter council chiefs will review the future of the city’s statue of General Buller, who is rumoured to have had ahand in the introduction of concentration camps seen during the Boer War.

A debate has erupted over the legacy of 19th century prime minister Sir Robert Peel after those calling for his statues to be removed were accused of targeting the wrong man.

The equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head and wearing a face mask in Glasgow today

The equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head and wearing a face mask in Glasgow today

Lancashire-born Sir Robert, who is best known for founding the Metropolitan Police, is immortalised in a number of statues across the north of England and Scotland.

Five of these – in Leeds, Glasgow, Bury, Manchester and Preston – were included on a map of possible other targets following the toppling of the monument to Edward Colston in Bristol.

The Glasgow statue was daubed with graffiti at the weekend.

But many people have come to the two-time PM’s defence, suggesting anti-racist campaigners may have got the wrong Sir Robert.

Graffiti on a statue of Robert Viscount Melville in Edinburgh - who delayed the abolition of slavery - as the city council leader said he would not be unhappy if it want

Graffiti on a statue of Robert Viscount Melville in Edinburgh – who delayed the abolition of slavery – as the city council leader said he would not be unhappy if it want

References to him being a vocal opponent of the abolition of slavery because it threatened his fortune in the cotton trade appear to have confused him with his father, also called Sir Robert Peel.

At a press conference in Leeds on Wednesday, Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said: ‘There seems to be now a recognition that there has been some misunderstanding about the Robert Peel whose statue is in Leeds and that it was actually his father who worked in the cotton trade.

‘It’s very interesting looking at comments over in the North West where he was born in Bury. There’s a really strong reaction that actually Robert Peel was a reformer and did do many things that have had a lasting impression and impact, not least establishing a police force that doesn’t carry arms.’

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: ‘I think there is a feeling there is a misunderstanding here which is that his father had links to the slave trade rather than Peel himself, or the Peel who is commemorated in different places in Greater Manchester.



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