GB News host Andrew Doyle slams London hospital amid pandering to wokery statue row

Andrew Doyle criticises London hospital over statue row

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GB News host Andrew Doyle has joined Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden in criticising Guy’s Hospital in London after the foundation threatened to remove a statue of Thomas Guy due to slavery links. The Culture Secretary has slammed Guy’s hospital for “pandering to wokery” over the move. Thomas Guy donated vast sums to St Thomas’ in the eighteenth century and also served as a governor at the hospital but in recent time he has come under scrutiny over investments in the South Sea Company, a slave-trading firm.

Mr Doyle told GB News: “They may not even get permission to remove the statue anyway because it is grade 2 listed.

“So their hands are tied to a decree.

“They are making these decisions however against what the public wants.”

He added: “The people themselves, the foundations, did in fact say to the public ‘what do you think?’

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“They got over 3,000 responses, 75 percent of which said keep the statue where it is.

“It is interesting that the Chief Executive of the foundation has said that we need a sort of duty of care to our ethnic minority patients.

“Which is a very patronising thing to say, because the idea that ethnic minority people don’t understand that this is a historic architect, that this is not a celebration of slavery… that is not why the statue is there,” continued the GB News host.

“The statue is not there to celebrate his investment in the South Sea Company, the reason that the statue of Thomas Guy is there is to commemorate the founding of the hospital in 1721. 

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“Which of course was a particularly important foundation because it helped prioritise the poor.

“The idea that people don’t understand the difference is nonsense as poll after poll shows,” continued Mr Doyle.

“People are not for generally this idea of eliminating areas of the past that we find unpalatable.

“We all instinctively know that it reeks of historical revisionism.”

In a statement the Chief Executive of of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation, Kieron Boyle said: “Being a charitable foundation focused on improving health involves tackling the health inequalities we see every day affecting black communities, and making sure the public realm surrounding hospitals is welcoming to everyone.

“Last year we committed to making decisions on the statues of Sir Robert Clayton and Thomas Guy based on a strong understanding of the facts, and the views held about them. Through the independent consultation, we heard from a broad range of voices, including those communities most local to the statues. We sought to balance these in making our decision.

“The consultation has recommended that we retain both statues in the public realm, provide information explaining how both men made their wealth, and move one of the statues to a less prominent position. It has also suggested that we commission new artistic works to tell the rich story of those involved in the hospitals’ history.

“We recognise that these can be polarising debates and are grateful for the wide range of views that shaped these independent recommendations. We are committed to seeing all the changes through. The pace at which we can proceed will depend on planning legislation and political sentiment, as well as the immediate need to prioritise the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations on the site of the Thomas Guy statue. We have begun by commissioning comprehensive interpretation to accompany each statue.”

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