The Prime Minister will be urged to speak out for Britain’s ‘patriotic’ silent majority and take a stand against bids by ‘elitist bourgeois liberals’ to rewrite or denigrate the nation’s history.
More than 25 Tory MPs will write to Mr Johnson this week, warning him that ‘Britain’s heritage is under attack – ironically from those missioned to guard it’.
The appeal, led by senior backbencher and ex-Minister Sir John Hayes, will call for drastic action including decriminalising the BBC licence fee and potentially stripping the National Trust of its charitable status. In a stern warning last night, Sir John said: ‘Those responsible for our heritage must stand with us or stand aside.’
The group of Tory MPs and peers also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’
Their letter, seen by this newspaper, calls for a panel of ‘patriots’ to vet major public appointments, and shows their anger over the National Trust’s decision to ‘commission a review of its properties’ links with colonialism’ – including Churchill’s home, Chartwell.
And it rebukes ‘unheroic characters at the National Maritime Museum’ for ‘re-evaluating Nelson’s heroic status’.
The appeal for the ‘patriotic’ fightback is being organised by the Common Sense group of 60 Tory MPs and peers. Sir John, its chairman, said: ‘It’s time to defend British traditions and values… to stand against the senseless woke whingers and the soulless militants who despise the best of Britain.’
They also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’.
They write: ‘In light of the BBC’s repeated refusal to address its organisation’s undoubted liberal bias, illustrated most recently by its bizarre decision to censor a well-known Christmas song, (perhaps, similarly, the whole canon of popular music is to be reviewed by a highly paid zealot!), we believe it is now time to decriminalise the licence fee, so enabling ordinary Britons to choose whether or not to pay for the BBC’s content.’
Members of the group – which includes many so-called Red Wall Tories who won seats from Labour last year – are understood to have had a ‘positive’ response from Mr Johnson when they met him this year.
Boris Johnson, pictured above, will be urged to speak out for Britain’s ‘patriotic’ silent majority and take a stand against bids by ‘elitist bourgeois liberals’ to rewrite or denigrate the nation’s history
‘We know that the Prime Minister, because of his learning and thoughtfulness about this, recognises that history can neither be sanitised nor rewritten,’ said Sir John. ‘So, we believe he is on the right side of this argument.’
Signatory Tom Hunt said: ‘The vast majority of people in this country are patriotic. They realise that in history there are occasions when we haven’t always got it right.
‘But they realise that by and large this country has been a force for good and are proud of being British. They find it incredibly frustrating and infuriating when very high-profile public organisations – in some cases charitable ones supported by the taxpayer – are promoting divisive political agendas.’
The letter comes amid growing concern within the party over the influence of the Prime Minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, identified by many Tories as the guiding force behind Mr Johnson’s new focus on the ‘green’ agenda.
The Common Sense Tories make a direct threat to the funding of the National Trust, telling Mr Johnson: ‘As long as the purpose of these charitable organisations is perverted by political posturing, we request that you ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to review all outstanding funding applications from [bodies] that pursue political causes.’
The group’s letter rebukes ‘unheroic characters at the National Maritime Museum’ for ‘re-evaluating Nelson’s heroic status’ (pictured: the Lord Nelson statue at top of Nelson’s column)
They want the Charity Commission to consider ‘the withdrawal of charitable status of guilty parties, notably the National Trust’.
On public appointments, they say: ‘It is vital that those appointed reflect public perceptions of what’s just and right, rather than parroting the preoccupations of the liberal Left. To which end, perhaps all appointments should be overseen by a “people’s panel” of patriots.’
The BBC said Fairytale Of New York would be played with its full lyrics on some stations, but not Radio 1, whose young listeners are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.
The National Trust said that ‘exploring and sharing the history of places we look after’ was ‘completely within our charitable objectives’.