A PETITION has been created to add a sign to the Queen Victoria statue explaining the impact of the British Empire.

The demand is to put a sign near the 19th-century monarch’s statue, opposite Hove Lawns, to inform people of the colonisation of India, including the estimated number of deaths.

The tribute to Britain’s second-longest serving monarch was completed in 1901, the year of her death, and bears the words “Ind Imperatrix”, meaning Empress of India.

A petition created by Hove resident Tim Telford, 25, directed at Brighton and Hove City Council, has now been signed by more than 100 people.

Mr Telford, an ex-Labour Party candidate for Ouse Valley and Ringmer, said: “I teach history and I have always been shocked at people’s understanding of empire.

“I think it’s really important that we understand that the empire is not as glorious as it can sometimes be made out to be.

“In actuality, there are many atrocities that people need to be aware of.

“We are not sweeping atrocities under the rug, but we should not put glitter on them and call it vintage.”

The petition comes amid anti-racism protests across the UK in which a slave trader’s statue in Bristol was torn down and thrown into the harbour.

On Tuesday, a statue of Queen Victoria in Leeds was sprayed with graffiti including the words “murderer” and “slave owner”.

Critics say the removal of statues is akin to taking away history.

But Mr Telford said: “This is not in any way an attempt to hide our history... it’s doing the opposite.

“I know people have been complaining that it is removing or taking away from history, but this is adding information.

“This is one part of a larger movement, we need to be campaigning against racism and injustice and this is a way of doing this.”

On Tuesday, a statue of slave holder Robert Milligan was removed from outside the Museum of London Docklands.

There is set to be an anti-racism protest in Brighton on Saturday, following a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in the city last Wednesday.

Mr Telford’s petition states: “The statue of Queen Victoria in Hove proudly declares her the Ind Imperatrix (Empress of India). This is a title given to her because of the British colonisation of India.

“It is estimated that the colonisation led to the death of 35 million Indian people, although it is known more people lost their lives to famine in this time, which may have been directly due to British mismanagement.

“Proudly declaring Queen Victoria the Empress of India implies a glory to the empire which is unfounded.

“We ask that a sign be placed near the statue that gives a brief account of the impact of colonisation, including the estimated number of deaths.

“This sign will help better educate people about Britain’s more difficult history with the rest of the world.”

Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said:

“The Black Lives Matter movement has rightly shone a spotlight on colonial statues and street names in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

“In Brighton and Hove we’re currently reviewing all plaques, monuments, statues and street names on public land to ensure that we’re celebrating legacies that reflect our city’s values. We will seek to remove any statues or monuments with clear associations with enslavement or plantations.

“We will talk with the council’s BME Workers Forum, our local Bame communities and historians to ensure we fully understand the history of our statues and street names and we’ll work collaboratively to commission new street art installations which celebrate the Black community.

“I would like people to contact me directly if they are aware of any statues, monuments, street or building names which cause them concern.

“We’re also aware of two plaques that have been identified on a website for removal. These are on private property. We’ll be contacting the owners to ask them to consider their appropriateness.”

Anti-racism protests have taken place across the world, following the death of George Floyd.

The African-American, 46, died in Minneapolis, in the US, after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

The incident was captured on video as Mr Floyd yelled “I can’t breathe”.