Moira Wallace under pressure to resign from Oriel College after Rhodes statue argument

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Moira Wallace, the Provost of Oriel College at Oxford University, is reportedly under pressure to resign after the college may be forced to make spending cuts. The cuts may be made following a prolonged debate about the removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue at the college.

The college announced this week that the statue would not be removed and there was substantial academic opposition to the proposed move. Sir Anthony Seldon, former headmaster of Wellington School and biographer of most recent Prime Ministers, said:

“Oriel has not shown leadership. It is a lesson to other people – academic institutions should never be in this position, whipping up the past and desecrating what the past has left behind, we should learn from it”.

The Daily Telegraph reported that:

“The delay in making the decision – and an earlier attempt to mollify the Rhodes Must Fall campaign by announcing a consultation over the statue’s future – has proved catastrophic. More than £100 million of gifts and bequests could be withdrawn because wealthy donors are furious that the college even considered taking the statue of the Victorian down”.

Before becoming Provost Wallace had worked as a civil servant, her last position having been the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.