“Our nation led the world in eradicating [slavery]”

Oliver Dowden, The Telegraph

May 15, 2021

Facts

Writing in The Telegraph, Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, said: “Our nation led the world in eradicating [slavery]”.

This is untrue. France was the first nation to abolish the slave trade, in 1792 before Napoleon reintroduced it. Haiti was the first nation to permanently abolish slavery in 1804. Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 and slavery itself across most parts of the British empire in 1833.

Verdict

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden displayed a lack of historical knowledge which is characteristic of ministers in the Johnson government. When we approached Oliver Dowden for comment he did not reply.

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