A Tory MP called on Thursday for the removal of Karl Marx's headstone as the conversation about honouring controversial historical figures with statues heats up.
Henry Smith, the MP for Crawley, justified his suggestion on the basis that the 19th-century philosopher was an "anti-Semite" who promoted an ideology that led to the "mass oppression and the death of over 100 million people".
— Henry Smith MP 🇬🇧 🏴 (@HenrySmithUK) June 11, 2020
Many were quick to point out that this action would be the desecration of a grave and not the removal of a statue.
— Queen of Scotties #SocialistCampaignGroup (@RedWoman1552) June 11, 2020
Others explained to Smith that Marx himself was Jewish.
— OneTabletDaily (@OneTabletDaily) June 12, 2020
— Hicham Yezza (@HichamYezza) June 11, 2020
— Mr Demos of Pnyx (@gem_ste) June 11, 2020
Jesus was also highlighted as a figure whose ideas led to "no end of problems" by one Twitter user.
— Ian Crust BA(hons) (@ghosteggs) June 11, 2020
The Marx headstone in Highgate Cemetery, London has been vandalised before. In February last year, the plaque was smashed up and the stone itself spray-painted.
— Highgate Cemetery (@HighgateCemeter) February 5, 2019
The tweet comes as the United Kingdom is embroiled in controversy over the removal of statues of historic figures who were involved in the slave trade.
During demonstrations organised by the Black Lives Matter movement last week, the effigy of former slaver Edward Colston was torn down by protestors in Bristol.
On Tuesday, a statue of slave trader Robert Milligan outside the Museum of London Docklands was taken down by Tower Hamlets Council after a petition reached 1,000 signatures in 24-hours.
After the spray painting of a statue of wartime leader Winston Churchill and the vandalism of the Cenotaph war memorial in London by protestors, local authorities have taken measures to protect statues across the UK.