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Cries of approval meet suggestion for Queen statue in Trafalgar Square

Sir John Hayes giving his tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Commons. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022 (UK Parliament/Andy Bailey/PA)
Sir John Hayes giving his tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Commons. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022 (UK Parliament/Andy Bailey/PA)

Calls for a statue of the Queen on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth have been met with cries of support in the House of Commons.

Shouts of “hear, hear” were heard from some MPs in the chamber after Conservative former minister Sir John Hayes floated the idea to commemorate Elizabeth II, who died aged 96 on September 8.

Heather Phillipson’s The End monument – featuring a whirl of whipped cream topped with a cherry, a drone and a fly – is among the artworks to have been housed on the Fourth Plinth at the London landmark.

Sir John told the Commons: “Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II we have witnessed an extraordinary nationwide, indeed kingdom-wide, response – a moving mix of sorrow at our loss and celebration of a life of remarkable service.

“So that that mood is marked forever and remembrance can last for generations to come, a fitting national memorial needs to be established.

“Will the Leader of the House therefore agree with me that a statement be brought to this House on what form that memorial might take?

“For me, a statue on the final plinth on Trafalgar Square would be ideal.”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replied: “I thank (Sir John) for his suggestion.

“Clearly these will be matters that will concern many members and will involve other bodies outside of this House, but I shall certainly raise this with the Secretary of State for DCMS (Michelle Donelan) and ensure she properly consults members on their wishes as plans are taken forward.”

Conservative former minister Tobias Ellwood later suggested renaming a bank holiday in the Queen’s honour.

He told the Commons: “I do believe a worthy way to immortalise Queen Elizabeth, what she did for our country, the longest-serving monarch, would be to rename one of our bank holidays the ‘Elizabeth Day’.”