*2020 Update*

It has been confirmed that the first figure to be considered in a new series of UK coins that will recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency will be Mahatma Gandhi.

This news comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated he was considering proposals from a campaign group. He has since asked the Royal Mint to come up with new designs honouring BAME figures who have served the nation – such as military figures and nurses.

‘Banknotes of Colour’ campaign is currently being led by former Conservative parliamentary candidate, Zehra Zaidi in efforts to see the better representation of non-white peoples on British currency.

Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer has “asked the team at the Royal Mint to bring forward proposals for a new, commemorative coin of Gandhi.”

The news was revealed last week at the annual GG2 Leadership Awards event, which fell on the 150th birthday of Gandhi – a very fitting time for the announcement to be made.

Gandhi is most well known for leading the successful campaign for India’s independence, using nonviolent resistance which inspired human rights movements across the world.

However, he also has strong ties with London, having attended the University College of London law school in 1888.

Despite leaving for India after being called to the bar in 1891, he continued to return to London, right up until his final visit in 1931 where he attended a conference on the future of India.

If a coin were to be created to honour Gandhi, perhaps it would be issued in 2021 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of this final visit.

Gandhi in London as a law student

Chancellor Sajid Javid said that “We must always remember the values he [Gandhi] lived his life by… Gandhi taught us that power doesn’t just come from wealth or high office.”

What do you think the design should be if a new coin were to be issued to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi? Let us know in the comments below!

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