Having voted to axe the Queen, Oxbridge is now turning its guns on another national symbol.
I hear that ‘serious plans’ are being considered by Cambridge University’s Churchill College to change its name.
‘While Winston Churchill might be a hero in this country, overseas his legacy is much more controversial,’ a university source tells me.
‘The college wants to be an inclusive institution, attracting the brightest students from around the world. A more neutral name would help.’
Sources at Churchill College at Cambridge have said that leaders think ‘a more neutral name’ would help attract the brightest students from around the world. Pictured: Winston Churchill
The college caused outrage earlier this year when it held an event called ‘The Racial Consequences of Mr Churchill’, during which a panellist said wartime leader Sir Winston was the ‘perfect embodiment’ of ‘white supremacist philosophy’.
The event also included claims that the British Empire was ‘far worse than the Nazis’.
A regular at high table at Churchill College tells me: ‘This is just a persistent whisper at the moment, but such whispers have a remarkable record of becoming reality.’
Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames is alarmed by the rumours. ‘I just don’t believe that it’s going to happen,’ he tells me.
‘It would be a total disaster. Frankly, it’s unthinkable.’
He was so concerned that he contacted university officials yesterday.
Churchill’s biographer Andrew Roberts linked the claims to yesterday’s disclosure that graduate members of Magdalen College, Oxford, had voted to remove a portrait of the Queen from their common room because she ‘represents recent colonial history’.
Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames (pictured) is alarmed by the rumours the Churchill College may change its name and was so concerned he contacted university officials
Controversy: Churchill College (pictured) is said to be particularly troubled by his reputation in the Indian subcontinent, where he’s held responsible by some for the 1943 Bengal famine
Roberts tells me: ‘After the news from Magdalen, anything’s possible.’
Churchill College is said to be particularly troubled by his reputation in the Indian subcontinent, where he’s held responsible by some for the 1943 Bengal famine.
His views on race are also a cause for concern. However, Roberts says: ‘Far from being tarnished by his honourable service in defence of Indians, when he put his life on the line several times, Churchill’s legacy is untarnishable in the eyes of anyone willing to use their common sense and examine the historical evidence in an objective way.’
A spokesman for the academic establishment insists: ‘Churchill College has no plans to change its name.’
This country is being ‘robbed’ of the next David Hockney, according Andrew Marr.
‘I’m really upset about it,’ says the BBC star, who’s a keen painter himself. ‘We have now several generations of kids coming through schools who have never been taught the basics of drawing.
‘Somebody who is 21 or 31 years old has almost certainly not been given the skills Hockney was given. That is absolutely awful.’
Strictly charity as Emma helps to feed the hungry
Emma Weymouth looked typically chic in a Dolce & Gabbana dress as she celebrated her eighth wedding anniversary with dinner at Mayfair private members’ club 5 Hertford Street this week.
But the Strictly star was happy to slip into a bright green T-shirt and hi-viz jacket the next morning.
Emma, 35, who’s the Marchioness of Bath, donned the uniform as she helped prepare food baskets for The Felix Project, which donates fresh food to hungry Londoners.
Emma Weymouth, The Marchioness of Bath, helps The Felix Project prepare food baskets for delivery getting much needed nourishment to hungry Londoners at the distribution centre
‘I think it’s extremely important work they’re doing,’ she says. ‘I’m really proud to have been a part of it for so long.’
Emma became chatelaine of Longleat House, with its 9,000-acre estate and safari park in Wiltshire, when her husband, Ceawlin Thynn, 47, inherited the title of his eccentric father, the Marquess of Bath.
Princess Diana’s historian brother Charles Spencer is determined to get to the bottom of one of England’s most mysterious shipwrecks.
A team of divers is looking into the disaster of the White Ship, which is also the subject of a book he wrote last year.
‘Loading up the submersible which should get us from the UK to the Normandy coast in two and a half hours,’ he remarks from the scene of the dive.
The heir of Henry I was on the ship when it sank — thus changing the course of European history.
Daisy gets her skates on to party
The rule of six might make parties challenging, but Daisy Bell is still on a roll.
The vivacious daughter of late advertising legend Lord (Tim) Bell held a roller-disco in a kitchen, complete with hotpants and luminous wigs.
‘My friend Olivia Bangham has rented a house in Hastings for the summer and we were celebrating,’ she tells me.
Pictured: Daisy Bell held a roller disco in a kitchen complete with hotpants and luminous wigs
‘You can’t beat an indoor roller-disco!’ Daisy married Australian banker Andrew Gray in Chelsea last year.
She met him while she was with Prince Harry’s ex, Cressida Bonas, on Bondi Beach, Sydney.
Calls to delay the end of lockdown have alarmed former MP Mark Oaten, who’s slated to get married next month.
Weddings are currently limited to 30 people but this restriction was among those due to end by June 21.
‘We have no idea how many guests can be invited and may have to change plans at the last moment,’ he says. Oaten, 57, who has two daughters with his ex-wife, Belinda, is to wed his landlord boyfriend Chris Staines.
‘I’m happy to be gay, out and getting married,’ he says, adding: ‘The Prime Minister should give clarity now that, even if lockdown is extended, the wedding rules will be abandoned.’
Lily’s fashion habit… as a funky disco nun
Lily Cole made her name strutting down the catwalk in eye-catching outfits designed by some of the biggest names in fashion.
But, for the doll-faced model’s latest look, she’s enlisted the sartorial advice of a five-year-old.
The Cambridge graduate, 33, reveals her daughter Wylde helped style her on a night out.
Lily Cole reveals daughter Wylde helped style her with this silver sequin miniskirt head dress
Lily shared a picture of the final result which included a silver sequin miniskirt on her head.
‘When your daughter helps you dress,’ she says of the picture, describing the look as ‘disco nun’.
Wylde has already got the thumbs-up from fashion designer Bella Freud, who calls the idea ‘inspired’.