London

Archbishop supports The Cardinal pub name petition

Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Image caption Vincent Nichols was appointed the Archbishop of Westminster in 2009

The Archbishop of Westminster and former MP Ann Widdecombe are supporting a petition to stop the owners of a London pub changing its name.

The Cardinal, by Westminster Cathedral, will be renamed The Windsor Castle when it reopens after refurbishment.

More than 150 people have signed the petition since it was started on Tuesday by the newspaper Independent Catholic News.

The pub was named after ex-Westminster Archbishop Cardinal Manning.

Current Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, said although the pub was originally called The Windsor Castle, the name The Cardinal has a better historical connection to the area.

'Extremely Silly'

"The reason why it was changed was because of the great impact that Cardinal Manning had on the life of London," he said.

"When he died, 50,000 people came out on the streets because he had supported the dockers in their long and bitter strike."

Former Conservative MP Ms Widdecombe drank in the pub on occasions in the past and has signed the petition.

"I think it's extremely silly," she said. "Everywhere you go in London you find a pub has a connection to the area that they're in.

"There's absolutely no connection to Windsor Castle - it's miles away."

Lawyers representing the pub's owners declined to answer any questions when they were contacted by the BBC.

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