A Catholic MP has decided that one former politician is most definitely for turning after running into trouble with House of Commons authorities for continually spinning a bust of Oliver Cromwell round so he stares at a wall.
Stephen Pound, Labour MP for Ealing North and Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, has been turning the bust round for some time, in punishment for his activities in Ireland in the 1600s which gave him the chilling nickname of ‘Butcher’.
Pound believes that Cromwell should not be celebrated in the Commons and has campaigned to have the statue removed.
However, officials in the House of Commons have now moved the bust from its spot outside the Members’ Tea Room for ‘health and safety’ reasons and fitted it with a tamper alarm to stop it being moved. Ironically, its new home is near Stephen Pound’s office
Cromwell, who led the Roundheads against the Royalists in the English Civil War and was made Lord Protector following the execution of Charles I in 1649, remains a controversial figure in Ireland, with some accusing him of being a religious bigot and slaughtering Catholics there.
Mr Pound has now accused those who moved the bust of having “a sense of humour” after it was relocated near his office at Westminster.
He said: “The Butcher turned up on my doorstep” after he had been “dobbed in” by colleagues.
However, Mr Pound said he had not given up on getting Cromwell removed from the Parliament altogether.
“I am in negotiations with the authorities. His Butcher stare gets me every morning when I come in,” he said. “They have put a tremble alarm on it.
“I don’t know about health and safety, but he had better watch out for his health and safety.”
Mr Pound also called Cromwell “the Taliban of his time”.
“He slaughtered hundreds of civilians, priests and friars. Basically he was the Taliban of his time,” he told Christian radio station Premier Radio.
“His attitude to other strands of Christianity was foul and unforgiving. It’s no surprise the Irish nicknamed him ‘Butcher’ ”.
Picture: Oliver Cromwell, by P. Ley. (Topham/Topham Picturepoint/PA).