England

Oxford Union votes to remove Cecil Rhodes statue

The statue of Cecil Rhodes Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Oriel College has said it will consult on the statue's future and has decided to remove a plaque to Cecil Rhodes

Students at Oxford University have voted in favour of removing the statue of 19th century colonialist Sir Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College.

The result of the non-binding vote at the Oxford Union was 245 votes for the motion and 212 against.

The debate follows the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, which started at South Africa's University of Cape Town.

Oriel College is consulting on the statue's future and has decided to remove a plaque to the mining magnate.

During the debate speakers and students described Rhodes as a racist, with one speaker comparing him to Adolph Hitler.

But others questioned where the campaign could lead and asked if statues of Winston Churchill and Oliver Cromwell would be next in line.

The question voted on after the panel debate was: "Must Rhodes fall?"

Campaigners have called for the prominent statue to be placed in a museum.

But interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the university's chancellor Lord Patten said students with such views "should think about being educated elsewhere”.

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