After a public outcry, Wandsworth Borough Council has decided not to name a new housing development after Sir Edwin Alliot Verdon-Roe, accomplished aviator, antisemite and prominent member of the British Union of Fascists.
We encouraged our supporters to contact the Council and the local MP, Rosena Allin-Khan, spoke out against the move.
In a statement, Greenland Group, the property developer which had proposed honouring Verdon-Roe, said that Wandsworth Borough Council had requested that the name be changed, and that they had been unaware of Verdon-Roe’s politics.
Verdon-Roe supported Sir Oswald Mosley during the 1930s, a time when Mosley’s ‘blackshirt’ thugs terrorised London’s Jews. Dr Steven Woodbridge, Senior Lecturer in History at Kingston University, told the Evening Standard: “Even during the Second World War, he was contributing articles to the publications of extreme-right parties. I think his views would be abhorrent to people today. There was a definite strand of antisemitism in his thinking and outlook.”
We are pleased that Verdon-Roe, an ardent antisemite, will not be honoured.