The National Trust chairman has controversially defended Black Lives Matter (BLM) despite its radically left-wing and anti-police agenda.
Tim Parker described the campaign as a ‘human rights movement with no party political affiliations’ in a statement that risks alienating the Trust’s 5.6 million members.
His view came in a letter written in response to a National Trust report which found a third of its sites had ties to the ‘sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history.’
The UK strand of the Black Lives Matter movement has repeatedly drawn criticism for its radical left-wing objectives to ‘dismantle’ capitalism and abolish the police.
Tim Parker, he has been chair of the National Trust since 2014
A Black Trans Lives Matter demonstrators hold placards as they gather around the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square on June 27, 2020 in London, England. The Black Trans Lives Matter march was held to support and celebrate the Black transgender community and to protest against potential amendments to the gender recognition act
Mr Parker, who took on the role in 2014, said the Trust was ‘committed to anti-racism and to creating a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment.’
In his letter to members last month, he wrote: ‘We understand Black Lives Matter currently is a worldwide human rights movement with no party-political affiliations in the UK.
‘Our recent report aimed to give greater clarity and transparency about sources of wealth, to help deepen and enrich understanding of our remarkable places, art and objects.’
The Trust published a 115-page report in September called ‘Connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery.’
The document sparked huge controversy as it listed 93 National Trust properties said to have links to colonialism and slavery – including Winston Churchill’s home at Chartwell.
This was just the latest chapter of what critics claim is ‘virtue signalling’ by the Trust, deserting the values of its traditional members.
In 2017, National Trust volunteers were asked to wear gay pride badges and rainbow lanyards to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Last month it was reported that the charity regulator could investigate the organisation over whether it had strayed from its ‘clear, simple purpose’ to preserve historic buildings and treasures.
And a debate regarding ‘the future of the National Trust’ is set to take place in the Commons next week.
A National Trust sign for the Needles Headland on the Isle of Wight
But the latest letter has already angered Tory MPs with Sir John Hayes accusing the organisation of being run by ‘out of touch, bourgeois elite.’
He told the Telegraph: ‘BLM is a militant campaigning organisation and I can only think the reason that the National Trust used that language was they somehow feel it creates a veil of respectability around what they have done.
‘The people who visit the properties the National Trust has responsibility for do not sign up to any of the agenda that is being perpetuated by the people who run it.’
He added that the organisation was simplifying paying ‘lip service to a lot of politically correct woke nonsense.’