Foreign Travel Advice - UK

Communities Secretary announces new members of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has today (3 September 2020) announced the appointment to the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation of:

  • Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at the Bank of England
  • Mona Siddiqui OBE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh
  • Matthew Westerman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum.

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation is an expert committee that advises the government on Holocaust Commemoration including plans for a new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens next to Parliament.

The new members, all leading figures in their professions, will play a key role in advising the government on Holocaust remembrance, and on the construction and operation of the new Memorial.

With their knowledge and expertise from the fields of finance, academia and museum management they will further strengthen and broaden the already excellent advice provided by the Foundation.

The Memorial will be the focal point for national remembrance of the Holocaust and learning and is dedicated to the 6 million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of the Nazis and their collaborators.

The Learning Centre will focus on teaching about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and will educate future generations on the importance of fighting prejudice and persecution in all its forms.

Placing the Memorial next to the seat and symbol of parliamentary democracy reaffirms the United Kingdom’s commitment to Holocaust commemoration and serves as a permanent reminder of the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy to be vigilant whenever those values are threatened.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

I am delighted to welcome such an accomplished group of members to the board of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. They will bring unique professional perspectives to the Foundation as we move forward with the Memorial.

This year marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau. It’s unacceptable that 75 years after liberation, incidents of antisemitism are still rising in the UK and demonstrates why it is so important to remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution.

The UK Holocaust Memorial will serve as a continual reminder to us all of why we need to make a stand against antisemitism, racism and hatred, whenever and wherever we find it – something that this government will always do.

Co-chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, Rt Hon Ed Balls and Rt Hon Lord Eric Pickles said:

Our new members will strengthen the Foundation and we look forward to them bringing their knowledge, experience and expertise to the table.

Education on the Holocaust and subsequent genocides is one of the most powerful tools we have in the battle against antisemitism, racism and misinformation. Our new Foundation members will help us ensure we deliver an iconic Memorial and a world-class Learning Centre.

Matthew Westerman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum said:

I look forward to contributing to the successful establishment of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre which will be a powerful institution in the fight against prejudice and hatred in all its forms.

I’m confident the complementary narratives presented by the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre and IWM’s upcoming new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries will help more people than ever to understand the impact of this terrible period in world history.

Mona Siddiqui OBE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh said:

Memorials are places for remembering but also learning. Racism and prejudice corrode society. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to better education about the past and hopefully a more just vision for all in the future.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at the Bank of England said:

I am very pleased and honoured to be appointed to the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and to have the opportunity to contribute to the establishment of a Memorial and the Learning Centre that will help combat prejudice and persecution in all its forms.

Further information

In January 2016 the then Prime Minister announced that the chosen location for the Memorial was Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster.

After an international competition, with 92 entries in total and 10 finalists, Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman were selected unanimously as the winning team, by a jury including the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design, and both first and second-generation Holocaust survivors. The announcement was made on 24 October 2017.

A planning application was submitted to Westminster City Council in December 2018. In November 2019 the Housing Minister decided to call in the planning application for determination at the national level because of the project’s significant effects beyond the immediate locality. There will now be a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector.

The government committed £50 million in 2015 and in 2019 announced an additional £25 million of government money to be matched by charitable donations.

UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Members

  • Rt Hon Ed Balls and Rt Hon Lord Eric Pickles (co-Chairs)
  • Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
  • Natasha Kaplinsky OBE
  • Gerald Ronson CBE
  • Alice Greenwald
  • Rt Hon the Lord Feldman of Elstree
  • Lord David Alliance
  • Baroness Dido Harding
  • Peter Freeman CBE
  • Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE

Biographies of new members

Matthew Westerman

Matthew Westerman is a Director of MW&L Capital Partners, an investment vehicle with investments in a number of private and public businesses.

Prior to the establishment of MW&L Capital Partners, Matthew had been a banker throughout his career, most recently at HSBC where he was co-head of Global Banking; he spent the majority of his banking career at Goldman Sachs where he led its investment banking business in Australasia ex-Japan and in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He served on the European and Asian Management Committees and was a member of the Partnership Committee.

He is a Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum and a Foundation Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. Matthew is a Non-Executive Director of Schroders plc and a member of its Audit & Risk Committee. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Board of Kekst CNC, the strategic consultancy business of Publicis Group.

Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE FRSE FAAAS

Mona Siddiqui is Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Assistant Principal for Religion and Society.

She has published widely on Islamic law and Christian-Muslim relations and is a regular contributor to a wide range of media including BBC Radio 4’s and BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day and Moral Maze. She chairs the BBC’s Religious Advisory Committee in Scotland and during 2016 served as chair of the Scotland `Stronger In’ pro Europe campaign.

In April 2016, she was invited by the Home Office to lead an independent review of shari`a councils in the UK; the report was published by the Home Office in February 2018. She has served as an elected member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and as a member of the British Medical Associations’ Medical Ethics Committee.

She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Scottish Architects for her contributions to public life. In 2020, she was invited to join the Advisory Council of Wilton Park, an executive arm of the Foreign and Commonwealth office. In April 2019, she received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation.

Sir Jon Cunliffe

Sir Jon Cunliffe became Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at the Bank of England on 1 November 2013 for a 10-year term. Jon is a member of the Bank’s Financial Policy and Monetary Policy Committees, the Bank’s Court of Directors and the Prudential Regulation Committee.

Before joining the Bank, Jon was the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union. From July 2007 to December 2011, he was the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Europe and Global Issues and the UK Sherpa for the G8 and G20 and the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary responsible for EU coordination.

Between 2002 and 2007, Jon was Second Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury, Managing Director of the Macroeconomic and International Finance Directorate. Between 1990 and 2002 he held various posts at HM Treasury, and prior to that at the Department of Transport and the Environment. Jon was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours 2001 and made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours 2010.

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