New laws that will allow a Holocaust memorial to be built next to Parliament will be included in this week’s King’s speech.
The Holocaust Memorial Bill was introduced after plans to build a memorial centre in Victoria Tower Gardens ran into difficulties over a 1900 law requiring the land to be used as a public park.
The Bill intends to update the legislation, removing the legal obstacle that has prevented the project going ahead.
It would also give the Government powers to use public funding to build and operate the centre.
A government spokesman said the memorial will serve as a “powerful reminder to the whole of society of the unique evils of the Holocaust, and its victims”.
He added: “The government has always understood the importance of Holocaust memorial and has supported a National Holocaust Memorial Day since it was established. The memorial will honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered, and other victims of Nazi persecution.”
Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove told the Jewish Chronicle: “The government is determined to see the Holocaust memorial placed at the heart of our national life, next to the Houses of Parliament.
“We promised ‘never again’ after the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi era and the systematic killing of six million Jews. And yet on 7 October in Israel, we saw terrorists inflict murder and evil violence that resulted in the largest loss of Jewish life on a single day since the Holocaust. That was a tragic reminder that the memory of the Holocaust must be preserved for future generations.
“The memorial will stand as a profound expression of Britain’s shared values and beliefs.”
The idea of having a national Holocaust Memorial and learning centre was first proposed by a commission set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, but it has faced various setbacks since then.
During the summer a coalition of survivors, historians and politicians including Baroness Deech and Sir Simon Schama urged the government to scrap the proposed £102 million memorial and instead use the funds to establish a new Jewish museum in central London.
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