Stoke & Staffordshire

Robert Peel statue in Tamworth boarded up over confusion fears

Sir Robert Peel statue Image copyright Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher
Image caption The statue of Sir Robert Peel, former prime minster and Tamworth MP, is boarded up

A statue of former prime minister Sir Robert Peel has been boarded up over fears it will be confused with his father also named Robert Peel.

The statue, outside Tamworth town hall in Staffordshire, remembers Sir Robert who supported the abolition of slavery, the council said.

His father had opposed the Foreign Slave Trade Abolition Bill.

Tamworth council leader Daniel Cook said "given the current national focus on memorials" it was "necessary".

Sir Robert Peel served as prime minister from 1834 to 1835 and again from 1841 to 1846.

The bronze statue was put up three years after his death in 1850, and was given listed status in 1972, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"Given the current national focus on memorials, including statues of Robert Peel, we feel it necessary to take extra precautions to protect Tamworth's 167-year-old Peel monument for the time being and fence it off.

"The Tamworth MP and former prime minister Robert Peel depicted in the Tamworth statue was anti-slavery and supported its abolition, and it is widely felt he has been confused with his father, who opposed the Foreign Slave Trade Abolition Bill," Mr Cook said.

Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher said the statue was being protected from "agitators who can't get their history right".

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