Two governments spent 10 years trying to oust him from Parliament Square, but if calls for a memorial to Brian Haw are successful, he could end up being a permanent fixture. London Assembly member Jenny Jones has mooted a blue plaque in Parliament Square as a tribute to the anti-war campaigner who died on 18 June after undergoing treatment for cancer.
Although English Heritage’s rules state that the person commemorated should have been dead for 20 years or passed the centenary of their birth, Jenny Jones said:
‘He braved all weathers for 10 years in his commitment to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, behaviour worthy of a true British eccentric. Westminster Council owes him a blue plaque at the very least, perhaps mounted on a small plinth directly facing east, towards the target of all his campaigning.’
Brian Haw had staged a continuous protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in Parliament Square since 2001 despite repeated attempts by the GLA and Westminster council to remove him. The official Parliament Square Peace Campaign group are considering ideas for a tribute and said on their website: ‘We would like as many people as possible to be involved in creating lasting tributes to the tireless work of Brian Haw.’ Suggestions are also being put forward on a Facebook group, which include a 50ft high statue and a memorial protest.
A Westminster council spokesman said in response:
‘The blue plaque scheme is run by English Heritage. If they decide to apply for permission to install a plaque in honour of Brian Haw, we would of course consider it on its merits.’