Sadiq Khan has backed calls for a British slavery museum in London to tackle current-day racism in the UK.
The Mayor said understanding Britain’s role in the slave trade would “strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms”.
London was one of three major UK ports – along with Liverpool and Bristol – to profit from slavery. It is now among the most diverse cities in the UK, with 3.5million black and minority ethnic residents making up around 40% of the population.
The Mayor described the museum proposal as “both welcome and timely” for the Capital.
He said: “It’s right and fair that all Londoners see themselves and their history reflected in our city’s museums and cultural institutions.
“Learning more about the uncomfortable nature of our city and our nation’s role in the transatlantic slave trade can serve to deepen our understanding of the past and strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms.”
The museum proposal comes as part of a series of mayoral policy suggestions in a report from the Fabian Society.
The Labour-affiliated think tank has laid out its ideas for Sadiq Khan’s second term as Mayor, if he is re-elected next year.
In the report’s chapter on race equality, Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust, a leading race equality think tank, said a slavery museum would help address present day race inequalities in Britain.
He said: “It is time to add the history of enslavement to our commemorations.”