Governor of Tower of London sparks fury by telling Beefeaters they’re just there for tourists

The Governor of the Tower of London has sparked anger among Beefeaters following claims that he suggested they were only there ‘for the tourists’.

The ceremonial guards fear they are becoming ‘glorified tour guides’ after allegedly being told that their proud traditions – including links to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, who began his service at the Tower in 1826 – are no longer a priority.

Each Beefeater is required to have served at least 22 years in the military, but Governor Andrew Jackson, pictured right, is said to have told them during a series of Zoom calls to ‘forget about the Duke of Wellington’s legacy’.

Guards have already been removed from the Tower’s main gate and replaced with civilian security staff.

The ceremonial guards fear they are becoming ‘glorified tour guides’ after allegedly being told that their proud traditions – including links to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, who began his service at the Tower in 1826 – are no longer a priority (file image)

The ceremonial guards fear they are becoming ‘glorified tour guides’ after allegedly being told that their proud traditions – including links to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, who began his service at the Tower in 1826 – are no longer a priority (file image)

The ceremonial guards fear they are becoming ‘glorified tour guides’ after allegedly being told that their proud traditions – including links to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, who began his service at the Tower in 1826 – are no longer a priority (file image)

The idea of allowing reservists to join their ranks is also said to have been mooted.

One Beefeater told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’ve got Royal Marines who served in the Falklands in our ranks, some who served in Iraq and one who organised Princess Diana’s funeral, yet all those traditions are being treated with contempt. The new governor seems to want to sweep all that away and turn us into glorified tour guides.’

The guard, who asked not to be named, added: ‘Yeoman Warders have guarded the likes of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey. Now we’re told that we’re only here for the tourists.

‘I didn’t spend 22 years in the Forces to be spoken to like this and classed as nothing more than a tour guide.’ Five of the 37 Beefeaters have opted to take redundancy after the finances of the Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) charity, which operates the Tower for the Government, were hit by Covid-19. Tourist numbers plummeted and revenue is expected to be just £10 million this year, down from £110 million.

Each Beefeater is required to have served at least 22 years in the military, but Governor Andrew Jackson, pictured right, is said to have told them during a series of Zoom calls to ‘forget about the Duke of Wellington’s legacy’ (file image)

Each Beefeater is required to have served at least 22 years in the military, but Governor Andrew Jackson, pictured right, is said to have told them during a series of Zoom calls to ‘forget about the Duke of Wellington’s legacy’ (file image)

Each Beefeater is required to have served at least 22 years in the military, but Governor Andrew Jackson, pictured right, is said to have told them during a series of Zoom calls to ‘forget about the Duke of Wellington’s legacy’ (file image)

Staff at the Tower have been asked to sign new contracts with reduced pay and the GMB union is holding a ballot of members on whether or not to agree.

Last night an HRP spokeswoman said the workforce had been reduced by 40 per cent but no Yeoman Warders had been made redundant. ‘We acknowledge that this has been an extremely unsettling process for our staff to go through and that difficult conversations have taken place at the Tower of London, but we have not received any formal complaints about any managers or Directors,’ said the spokeswoman, who was also speaking on behalf of Mr Jackson. 

Link hienalouca.com

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