Just days after Archbishop John Sentamu wrote about the need to remember Seacole in his Sunday newspaper column, the deputy prime minister told me that he wanted the Victorian icon to remain in the textbooks.
I met Clegg last evening along with a small delegation of Black and Asian Liberal Democrats to discuss other race equality matters. When I raised the subject of Mary Seacole being dumped from the national curriculum, Clegg responded: “That’s not going to happen.”
Yesterday the petition to restore Seacole and the slavery abolitionist Olaudah Equiano topped 30,000 signatures, a record for race equality petitions in the UK.
Clegg joins an expanding list of politicians from all political parties who want Seacole to continue to be taught in schools, including Lib Dem peer Floella Benjamin and Labour MPs Diane Abbott and David Lammy.
A number of celebrities have also thrown their weight behind the campaign including author Zadie Smith, playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah and civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson Snr., who joined 60 other public figures to write an open letter to education secretary Michael Gove in the Times newspaper.
Singer Beverley Knight, actor Adrian Lester, and comedienne Angie le Mar have also tweeted support for the campaign.
By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway