A plaque dedicated to imperialist Cecil Rhodes should remain in place as an important part of Anglo-Jewish history in Oxford, according to a renowned professor.

While Oriel College looks set to remove the controversial Rhodes statue in High Street, there are no plans announced to remove the plaque in nearby King Edward Street.

The plaque in King Edward Street off High Street

The plaque in King Edward Street off High Street

The statue is Grade II* listed but the plaque has not been listed by Historic England, and Professor Geoffrey Alderman is warning that it could be removed at any time.

Read again: Cecil Rhodes statue - a timeline of protests

The Lincoln College alumni, who specialises in modern British and European history and British and American politics, and is an expert on Jewish history, said: “I think the plaque should remain in place - it is an important part of Anglo-Jewish history.”

A long-running campaign to get the Oxford statue removed gained renewed attention in June after a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was thrown in a dock in Bristol by Black Lives Matter protesters.

A protest involving thousands followed shortly afterwards in Oxford, and resulted in the governors of Oriel College announcing that they would launch an official commission to decide what should be done with the statue.

That commission's report, due to be released in January, has been delayed until the spring, but according to The Sunday Times, the statue could be removed by the summer, with a number of dons attempting to block the move.

Professor Geoffrey Alderman Picture: Prof Alderman

Professor Geoffrey Alderman Picture: Prof Alderman

Prof Alderman has urged Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to overturn the decision of Historic England, which has declined to ‘list’ the bronze plaque commemorating Cecil Rhodes, commissioned by a fellow philanthropist and leading member of Britain’s Jewish community.

Read again: Rough sleeper appeal raises 60k

Prof Alderman said: “The plaque in question is of national importance not least with respect to the history of the Jews in England. Its removal would amount to a public slight to that history.”

The bronze plaque, located on the outside wall of number 6, King Edward Street, commemorates the fact that Cecil Rhodes lived at that address in 1881.

The plaque, erected in 1906 four years after Rhodes’ death, is owned by the college at which Rhodes studied, and to which he was an outstanding benefactor.

On the wall of the college itself stands the statue of Rhodes, which the Fellows of Oriel College reportedly intend to remove.

Prof Alderman said several years ago an application was made to have the plaque ‘listed’, giving it protected status.

The Cecil Rhodes statue in High Street

The Cecil Rhodes statue in High Street

He added: "This application was rejected.

"The reasons for such rejection, are that the plaque is considered to be of limited architectural and historic interest."

Read more: Message from heartbroken Topshop staff after stores close

The plaque, designed by the sculptor Onslow Whiting, was commissioned by Rhodes’ close friend Sir Alfred Ezekiel Mosely, one of the leading Anglo-Jewish philanthropists of the Edwardian period.

Prof Alderman said: “It therefore has a significant place in Anglo-Jewish history. In its determination not to list the plaque, Historic England seems to have ignored entirely this unique Anglo-Jewish dimension.

"Mosely had previously collaborated with Whiting when he commissioned three bronze panels from him to be attached to the Prince Christian Victor memorial in Plymouth.

"This was probably the first public monument erected by a Jew in Britain, and the Rhodes plaque probably the second.”

The Rhodes Must Fall protest in 2020

The Rhodes Must Fall protest in 2020

Prof Alderman is an Orthodox Jew, and the author of numerous books on the history of the Jews in Great Britain.

Read more: Firefighters race to stables on fire

In 2006, Oxford University awarded him the Doctor of Letters title for his work in this field.