A former Northwood College for Girls student, who is now a university student union president, has been slammed for vowing to tear down a war memorial.
Emily Dawes, now president of Southampton University Students Union, Tweeted that she wanted to paint over a war memorial to students who died fighting for their country in the First World War.
The former Northwood pupil’s tweet led to outrage after she referred to the university’s Rotherstein mural as a “mural of white men” and called for it to be taken down.
She tweeted: “Mark my words – we’re taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.”
She has since removed the tweet and issued an apology.
She said: “Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused with what I have said.
“I never meant to the disrespect to anyone past, present and future.
“I had no intention of the tweet being taken literally, and upon reflection have realised how inappropriate it was.
“My intention was to promote strong, female leadership and not the eradication and disrespect of history.
“I do not believe that to make progress in the future, we should look to raise the past.”
The University of Southampton has also apologised with a spokesperson saying: “The comments made by the Students’ Union President regarding the Rothenstein Mural are not shared by the University of Southampton and do not represent the views of the University community.
“We are very proud to display the Mural, painted in 1916, which serves as a memorial to all members of British universities who served in the Great War.”
Picture courtesy of University of Southampton