THE statue of Constantine the Great at York Minster is not under threat, according to a spokesperson - but the Church of England has launched a review of all its monuments in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

A spokesperson for the Minster said they are not looking to remove the statue of the former Roman emperor in Minster Yard - despite reports in national media.

And they confirmed the Minster has not received a single complaint about the statue.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Church of England will look at statues “very carefully” to see if they should be there.

The Most Rev Justin Welby suggested “some will have to come down” but said it is not his decision and that monuments would be put “in context”.

A spokesperson for the Minster said the review is a “complex matter” and added: “It is about recognising those specific examples of where memorials are, what they mean to people and the behaviours which are still reflected in prejudices and discrimination today, and ensuring that the whole story is told in those cases, especially voices which have historically been ignored.”

They added that the Transatlantic slave trade is the most prominent example.

Mr Welby said justice is crucial to forgiveness, and stressed a need to learn from the past so that it is not repeated in the future.

The Archbishop was asked if people should forgive the “trespasses” of people immortalised in the form of statues, rather than tearing them down.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We can only do that if we’ve got justice, which means the statue needs to be put in context. Some will have to come down.

“Some names will have to change.

“But yes, there can be forgiveness, I hope and pray as we come together, but only if there’s justice.”

The Church of England’s Director of Church Buildings and Cathedrals, Becky Clark, said: “Action is being taken by parishes and cathedrals across England to consider monuments which have links to slave trading or the exploitation of people. Some churches have previously acknowledged and exposed this legacy, but many are just beginning this work in response to the spotlight shone on these questions by the Black Lives Matter movement.”

York’s Constantine the Great statue was commissioned by York Civic Trust and designed by sculptor Philip Jackson.

The £78,000 monument was unveiled in 1998 by Lord Coggan, a former Archbishop of York and Canterbury.

It stands on the spot in what is now Minster Yard where he was proclaimed Roman Emperor in 306AD - the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.