The Sunderland Conservative Party have launched an E-petition calling to protect the city’s historical monuments. After heated politics over the legacies of statues and monuments with questionable histories has proliferated throughout the United Kingdom, following the toppling of Edward Colston in Bristol, local debate emerged yesterday concerning the controversial legacy of General Henry Havelock, whom has a statue in Mowbray Park. Erected in 1861, critics point out that Havelock is being celebrated for the violent suppression of the Indian Rebellion against British Rule in 1857, where over 800,000 Indians died.

However, Sunderland Conservatives are worried that local monuments such Havelock’s, as well as more, may be targeted by vandals and in turn, have created a petition urging that the discussion of such statues ought to be firmly democratic and they should be protected from vandalism. A party spokesman stated: “We believe that the historic monuments of Sunderland must be protected and must not be allowed to be removed by the mob.

“We call on Sunderland Council to protect our historic monuments, to reject any calls to remove them and to ensure that mobs do not destroy them”.