AN inquiry into the future of the Cecil Rhodes statue at Oriel College should be complete by January.

Rhodes Must Fall protests were reignited by the Black Lives Matter movement last month, after a statue of slave owner Edward Colston was taken down by protesters in Bristol.

Oriel College then said it would hold an independent inquiry into the fate of the Rhodes staute on the side of its building on the High Street.

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Now the names of eight commissioners who will lead the inquiry have been announced, and a time table for the inquiry has been released.

The commissioners include: 

  • Broadcaster Zeinab Badawi
  • Peter Ainsworth, former Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Culture
  • Michelle Codrington-Rogers, teacher and educationalist
  • Geoffrey Austin, chair of the Oriel Alumni Advisory Committee
  • Shaista Aziz, Labour Party councillor on Oxford City Council
  • Laura Van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford
  • Margaret Casely-Hayford, CBE, lawyer and Chancellor of Coventry University
  • William Beinart, emeritus professor at Oxford University, formerly Rhodes Professor of Race relations and founding director at the university’s African Studies Centre

Carole Souter, CBE, current Master of St Cross College and former chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will chair the Commission.

Between July and September, the commission will ask for views from members of the public, and staff and students at Oriel College, while also researching 'the Rhodes legacy' and other background information on the statue.

Between October and November it will hold a series of hearings, with some in public.

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It hopes to then publish a report into the future of Rhodes Statue in January.

Commission chair Ms Souter said: “I would like to express my personal gratitude, and that of the Governing Body of Oriel College, to all of the new Commissioners for agreeing to undertake this timely and important work.

"Each of them has already made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge, access and diversity within their relevant sphere of expertise, and I look forward to chairing their discussions on how the Rhodes legacy can best inform the future of Oriel College.”