THE statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay will be removed today and placed in "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies".

Campaigners said his founding of the scouting movement "can be no excuse for his documented homophobia, racism and enthusiastic support of Hitler".

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade said she recognised some of his actions were “less worthy of commemoration” and said the statue would be removed "for now" to “create time for views to be aired”.

Concerns were also raised that its presence could provoke "public disorder or anti-social behaviour".

Bournemouth Echo:

There are growing calls for statues commemorating people who were involved in the slave trade or known to be racist to be removed.

It follows the removal of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston during anti-racism protests in Bristol on Sunday.

Topple the Racists has identified dozens of statues across the UK which it says commemorate people with a “responsibility for colonial violence”.

Its website says it is not calling for statues to be torn down and says decisions should be made locally.

But former Bournemouth East Labour parliamentary candidate Corrie Drew has already come out in opposition to its presence.

Bournemouth Echo:

She said his "documented homophobia, racism and enthusiastic support of Hitler" could not be excused by him founding the Scouting movement.

The statue was first erected in 2008 facing Brownsea Island and has become a focal point for celebrations by Scouts.

But BCP Council said it recognised Robert Baden-Powell's negative aspects and would put it into storage temporarily.

In a statement, it said it “acknowledges differing views” on his “life activities” and said the removal was to “create time for all views to be aired and to minimise the risk of any public disorder or anti-social behaviour”. The local authority added that Dorset Police advised removal of the statue, citing the reason of these potential risks.

Council leader Vikki Slade said: “Whilst famed for the creation of the Scouts, we also recognise that there are some aspects of Robert Baden-Powell’s life that are considered less worthy of commemoration.

“Therefore, we are removing the statue so that we can properly involve all relevant communities and groups in discussions about its future, including whether a more educational presentation of his life in a different setting might be more appropriate.”

Councillor Mark Howell, the cabinet member for regeneration and ward councillor for Poole Town, said he believed on "on balance" that Robert Baden-Powell's contribution to society was "positive"

The council said Dorset County Scouts was “supportive” of its decision.

But Andrew Williams, the chairman of Poole Scout District Executive, said he had not been contacted and thought the news must have been "a hoax".