Construction of the UK’s National Memorial to the Holocaust moved a step closer after MPs unanimously supported the Holocaust Memorial Bill yesterday (28 June 2023).
The Holocaust Memorial Bill seeks to update Victorian legislation and make progress on building a new Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster.
Located next to the Houses of Parliament, the Memorial will serve as a powerful reminder to the whole of society of the Holocaust, and its victims. The Bill will now progress to Select Committee stage where it will be scrutinised further, and petitions from objectors will be considered, on its way to becoming law.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said:
It is profoundly important that we remember the facts of the Holocaust and all its victims and that we seek to understand the lessons it teaches Britain today.
We are privileged in this country to have survivors of the Holocaust who have been willing to share their testimony. Sadly, this living testimony will not be with us forever.
The government is absolutely determined to complete the Holocaust Memorial at the very heart of our national life to preserve the memory of what happened for ourselves and for all future generations. MPs from all sides of the House have expressed their support to get the Memorial built and I am pleased yesterday’s vote brings it a step closer.
This follows confirmation that the Bill should be treated as ‘hybrid’, allowing those who believe they will be affected by the provisions of the Bill the opportunity to put their views to parliament as the Bill is considered.
The Chief Rabbi, who sits on the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, is fully behind the Government’s proposals as are leading representatives of the Jewish community, along with other faith and community leaders, survivors, refugees, and the wider public. Their voices, heard at the Planning Inquiry in 2020, emphasised the importance of the Memorial and Learning Centre as a way of providing Holocaust victims and the remaining survivors the prominence that they deserve. Photo by Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Wikimedia commons.