THE Ludlow MP has said that he doesn’t support calls to remove the monument ‘Clive of India’ in Shrewsbury town centre, writes Nicole Tomkins

Philip Dunne, the Conservative MP for Ludlow, condemned violence against the police in the recent Black Lives Matter protests in London and “attempts to desecrate national monuments”.

He added: “I am not convinced that seeking to judge historical figures of the past by today’s standards will remedy the ills of our society.

“It is a truism of the human condition that no one is perfect, but our history provides opportunities for learning, both from the good and bad.

“For this reason, I do not support calls to remove the statue of Robert Clive from Shrewsbury. But that is ultimately a decision for Shropshire Council.”

The Conservative MP has said that he will use the recent protests to: “reflect on how we can ensure equality of opportunity for people of all backgrounds in our society.”

Statues of historical figures across the world have been scrutinised following the toppling of the Edward Colston figure in Bristol last month, including that of Robert Clive in Shrewsbury Square.

Two petitions were made by David Parton and Jake Thompson calling for the removal of Sir Clive’s statue, and have since gained 23,000 signatures between them.

On his page, Thompson said that: “To have a statue commemorating the man that ruined a nation and held innocent people to his barbaric orders is both offensive and embarrassing.

“Robert Clive was one of the early figures of the British imperial domination of India, Bengal and much of South-East Asia.

“He was described by Robert Dalrymple as an 'unstable sociopath' and he committed mass atrocities and passed catastrophic policies in Bengal that reduced Bengal’s population by a third.”

As his petition has reached the 1,000 signatures required to trigger a council debate, he will present them to councillors at a meeting.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Nat Green, who represents the Quarry and Coton Hill ward which covers Shrewsbury town centre, has argued that rather than councillors being asked whether to take down the statue, the question should be put to the people.

He has motioned a table that says: “It is clear that passions have run high on both sides of the argument and, noting the trying times that we find ourselves in, this motion is intended to take a measured, democratic approach to a fraught issue.”