Brian Haw: Blue Plaque call for anti-war campaigner

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Media captionBrian Haw is "another war casualty", says Jenny Jones

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones has called on Westminster Council to put up a blue plaque for veteran anti-war campaigner Brian Haw.

Mr Haw, who died from lung cancer on 18 June in Germany, had been camping in Parliament Square since 2001.

Ms Jones, of the Green Party, said the 62-year-old protester was a "true British eccentric" and deserved a plaque "mounted on a small plinth".

The blue plaque scheme in London is run by English Heritage.

English Heritage's criteria requires a figure to have been dead for 20 years or passed the centenary of their birth, whichever is the earlier.

An English Heritage spokesperson said this arrangement "allows for a suitable length of time to be able to assess the endurability of that individual's reputation and work".

"Additionally, the intrinsic aim of English Heritage blue plaques scheme is to commemorate the link between a figure of the past and the building in which they lived or worked. If that building has been lost, the connection is deemed to have been severed - we do not commemorate 'on the site of.'"

Anti-war campaigner

Mr Haw, from Redditch, Worcestershire, had been receiving treatment in Germany for several months.

Mr Haw set up camp in Parliament Square Gardens on 2 June 2001, in response to sanctions against Iraq. His protest grew broader after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ms Jones said: "Brian Haw was an extraordinary man, his protest was the anti-war emotion of millions of us, made visible outside parliament, to the fury of some.

"He braved all weathers for 10 years in his commitment to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, behaviour worthy of a true British eccentric.

"Westminster Council owes him a blue plaque at the very least, perhaps mounted on a small plinth directly facing east, towards the target of all his campaigning."

Sally Bercow, the Speaker's wife, has also asked the council to commemorate the decade-long peace camp.

On Twitter Mrs Bercow said: "Hoping Westminster Council might put up a blue plaque: Brian Haw, peace campaigner, lived here 2001 - 2011."

A spokesman for Westminster Council said: "The blue plaque scheme is run by English Heritage. If they decide to apply for permission to install a plaque in honour of Brian Haw, we would of course consider it on its merits."

Eviction battle

In March 2011, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson won a High Court order to evict Mr Haw from his camp in Parliament Square.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) owns Parliament Square Gardens, and Mr Haw had been involved in a long-running legal dispute with Mayor Johnson over his right to camp there.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: "We are very sorry to hear of Brian Haw's death and send our condolences to his friends and family."

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