A statue of Queen Victoria on Woodhouse Moor has been sprayed with Black Lives Matter graffiti. The statue of Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square was also sprayed with the words ‘was a racist’.
The Queen Victoria statue, which originally stood in front of Leeds Town Hall, has also been sprayed with the words ‘educate’, ‘colonise’ and ‘slave owner’.
Queen Victoria became monarch of the United Kingdom in 1837, four years after parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act. Queen Victoria’s reign, which lasted until 1901, also saw a huge expansion of the British Empire.
Sara Forbes Bonetta, a West African princess who was sold into slavery and then liberated, became a goddaughter to Queen Victoria after coming to the UK in 1850.
A petition has also been set up online to remove the statue of Sir Robert Peel in Woodhouse Moor.
He served twice as Prime Minister and is regarded as the father of modern British policing, as well as being a founder of the modern Conservative Party.