THE Gladstone family would not ‘stand in the way’ if the democratic will is to remove the William Gladstone statue.

This comes after the monument appeared on a UK-Wide list that calls for memorials that celebrate slavery and racism to be removed.

An interactive map has been set up called ‘Topple the Racists’ which is a Stop Trump Coalition project in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

On the map sits the William Gladstone statue in Hawarden, which is situated at the Gladstone Library on Church Lane.

Peter Francis and Charlie Gladstone issued a statement today to say the Gladstone Library, and family, backs the Black Lives Matter Movement.

They added: “We also believe that if it is the democratic will, after due process, to remove statues of the founder we would not stand in the way.

“Nor, I think, would William Gladstone. What matters is how we live today, our values, our democratic process and political involvement.

“William Gladstone, whose politics were strikingly different to his Tory father’s politics and values, was the first British politician to lead a left-leaning government and to institute dramatic democratic changes when he introduced the secret ballot, universal education and a foreign policy based on freedom and liberty and not the aggrandisement of Empire.

“Gladstone stood for democratic change, and so do we.”

Liverpool-born Gladstone, who was Prime Minister on four separate occasions during the 19th century, moved to Hawarden Castle in 1839 after he married Catherine Glynne and lived there until his death in 1898.

The statement adds that the Gladstone family has continued to uphold and promote those liberal values and the library is building a programme around the Gladstonian themes of democracy, human rights and freedom of beliefs.

The website was inspired by the action taken in Bristol after the monument to Edward Colston was thrown into the harbour as part of a Black Lives Matter protest.

The aim is to spark debate and get people talking about the country’s imperialist past.

The website, about the William Gladstone statue, says: “In William Gladstone's maiden speech to Parliament, he defended slavery. He fought for compensation for slave owners. His father, John Gladstone, received the largest compensation payment of anyone in the UK, suggesting he owned the most slaves in the country at the time of abolition.

“Other monuments and statues exist throughout the village.”

Calls for the UK to face up to its past and ‘make a change’ has already made some progress as the University of Liverpool confirmed it will rename Gladstone Halls.

The statement by Peter Francis and Charlie Gladstone said they had no contact from the university, but it was a democratic decision and is in ‘entirely their rights’ to change the name.

It adds that William Gladstone's record of public office was one of 'almost unequalled service' as he was the 'driving force' behind the emergency of the Liberal Party, was a humanitarian and 'one could even celebrate him as one of the founders of the modern concept of human rights'.

It continues: "Of course, it is undeniable that William Ewart Gladstone's father, John Gladstone, in common with many successful British Merchants in the early 19th Century, owned land in the West Indies and South America that used slave-labour.

"He received £106,769 in compensation at the time of the abolition of slavery. William himself received nothing. Yes, in 1831, William did speak in the Commons in favour on compensation for slave owners.

"It was his first speech in the commons and he was still in thrall to his father. By 1850, he was a changed man and in Parliament he described slavery as 'by far the foulest crime that taints the history of mankind in any Christian or Pagan country'.

"He had changed. Towards the end of his life he cited the abolition of slavery as one of the great political issues in which the masses had been right and the classes had been wrong. He thought it was a taint on national history and politics.

"His change was a move towards a profound commitment to liberty and perhaps this quote exemplifies his shift - 'I was brought up to hate and fear liberty, I came to love it'.

"Liberty today means countering racism, sexism and intolerance which is where the Gladstone Library's energy should be exerted."

The statement adds: "At the Library we can always get better. We remain absolutely committed to progress and eduction and we will actively seek to improve everything that we do through democratic and open conversation with the community in its widest sense."

It is not just statues on the list, campaigners also called for the Elihu Yale Wetherspoons pub in Wrexham to be renamed.