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UK Holocaust Memorial passes important milestone

Parliamentary examiners announce decision on Holocaust Memorial Bill

Construction of the UK’s National Memorial to the Holocaust moved a step closer yesterday as the Holocaust Memorial Bill passed an important milestone in Parliament.

A detailed scrutiny process by parliamentary examiners lasting almost 3 months has confirmed that the Bill should be treated as ‘hybrid’, allowing those who believe they will be affected by the provisions of the Bill the opportunity to put their views to parliament as the Bill is considered.  The decision of the parliamentary Examiners resolves uncertainty and brings closer the opportunity for MPs from all sides of the House to express their support for the Memorial.

The Holocaust Memorial Bill seeks to update Victorian legislation and progress the building of a new Memorial and learning centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster.

Located next to the Houses of Parliament, the memorial will serve as a powerful reminder to the whole of society of the Holocaust, its victims and where prejudice can lead if unchallenged.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said:

The Holocaust is history’s most appalling example of cruelty, injustice and intolerance: the systematic attempt by a modern state to eliminate the whole Jewish people.  It is profoundly important that we remember the facts of the Holocaust and all it’s victims and that we seek to understand the lessons it teaches Britain today.

We are privileged in this country to have among us many survivors of the Holocaust who have been willing to share their testimony.  Sadly, this living testimony will not be with us forever.  It is essential that we create this Memorial, at the very heart of our national life, to preserve the memory of what happened for ourselves and for all future generations.

The Government is absolutely determined to complete the Holocaust Memorial. I am pleased that the Examiners have now reached their view on classification of the Bill so that it can now proceed through parliament. I know that a great many MPs from all sides of the House are very eager to express their support and to get the Memorial built.

Welcoming the progress of the Bill, UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board, Co-Chairs, The Rt Hon Lord Pickles and Ed Balls said:

Today’s decision by the examiners marks a vital step forward in delivering on our promise to build the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre next to the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens. We are hugely heartened by the Government’s determination to legislate, with cross-party support, to make this possible With the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, we are convinced that there is no better place to demonstrate our commitment to remembering and learning from the Holocaust than at the heart of our democracy. We look forward to the Bill receiving Royal Assent so that we can then get on and build.

Holocaust survivor, Manfred Goldberg BEM said:

I was 84 when Prime Minister David Cameron first promised us survivors a national Holocaust Memorial in close proximity to the Houses of Parliament. Last month I celebrated my 93rd Birthday and I pray to be able to attend the opening of this important project.

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Education Trust, Karen Pollock CBE said:

Following today’s announcement, we hope that this important Bill will pass through Parliament in time for the Memorial to be completed in time for survivors to see.

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