A member of Sadiq Khan’s statues commission who screamed at the Queen in church has resigned over antisemitism allegations.
Toyin Agbetu was likely the most controversial member of the London mayor’s so-called Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, set up to review statues, place names, and other memorials to historic figures after Black Lives Matter supporters began targeting British monuments in 2020.
In 2007, the British-Nigerian activist had disrupted a service in Westminster Abbey commemorating Britain’s abolition of the slave trade, shouting at the Queen and alleging that “the British are the Nazis”, and later threatening to “punch out” a black security guard as he was removed from the building.
Mayor Khan backed Agbetu after his past activities drew criticism, with a spokesman praising him “for his significant expertise, knowledge and experience as a social rights activist” and insisting that “His vast experience will provide a valuable contribution to the commission”.
His office has changed its tune after blog posts by Agbetu emerged praising the author of a book titled The Jewish Onslaught, which says that “Jews control the media” and played “an integral role in the slave trade”, however.
“Toyin Agbetu has today resigned from the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm and the Mayor believes this is the right course of action,” said a spokesman for Mayor Khan in comments reported by the Jewish Chronicle.
Toyin Agbetu’s racist past, record of anti-Semitic comments and anti-vaccine lies were a risk to the safety of all Londoners.
I have no idea why @SadiqKhan hired him to join his statue commission.
But I welcome the news of his resignation. https://t.co/eIygiliou2
— Shaun Bailey (@ShaunBaileyUK) February 24, 2021
Agbetu’s posts were originally uncovered by Shaun Bailey, who is standing against Sadiq Khan in London’s delayed mayoral elections for the Conservative party.
“Toyin Agbetu’s racist past, record of anti-Semitic comments and anti-vaccine lies were a risk to the safety of all Londoners,” Bailey commented in response to the statue adviser’s resignation, which he weclomes with the caveat that he had “no idea why Sadiq Khan hired him” in the first place.
As of the time of publication, however, Agbetu does not appear to have entirely lost his say over Britain’s built heritage, as before his appointment to the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm he was already a “founding member” of the so-called Naming Review for the London borough of Hackney — a body titled ‘Review, Rename, Reclaim’.
Robert Poll of the Save Our Statues campaign has noted that Hackney Council “seems to be deleting its tweets about their pride in Toyin Agbetu’s appointment to Khan’s commission”, but they have not said he will be removed from their own Naming Review.
Breitbart London has contacted Hackey Council, the Hackney Council press office, the Naming Review team, and Hackney mayor Philip Glanville in an attempt to clarify Mr Agbetu’s position, but received no response.