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Penny Lane name to stay

Liverpool's Mayor has ruled out renaming Penny Lane, the street made famous by The Beatles, despite direct action from anti-racism activists who believe it bears the name of a slave trader.

Following the recent Black Lives Matter protests in the U.K. its landmark street signs were defaced by vandals who sprayed over the word 'Penny', amid speculation it refers to the 18th Century slave merchant James Penny - with the word 'racist' also daubed around signs.

Reports claimed the road was in danger of being renamed, but Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has announced its famous name will not disappear as there is "no evidence" of links to the slaver.

"Any decision to remove street names is Liverpool Council's responsibility," he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night. "As Mayor of City let me be clear the name of Penny Lane is not being changed.

"There is no evidence it's named after James Penny. With our BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) communities we will not eradicate our past but inform the present."

Anderson's move to stop speculation came after Steve Rotherham, the Mayor of the wider Liverpool City Region said links would be "investigated", but officials at Liverpool's International Slavery Museum insist the link to James Penny was "not conclusive."

The Penny Lane controversy comes days after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was dragged through the streets of Bristol, England and thrown in the River Avon. The direct-action sparked similar protests in Britain, America and across the world, where statues of historical figures with links to past racist atrocities have been targeted or removed.

Fans have flocked to have their photograph taken next to Penny Lane's street signs ever since it inspired The Beatles 1967 hit of the same name.



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