Members of the public scrub graffiti off Churchill statue - 'Defacing it is one step too far'

8 June 2020, 14:56

Members of the public scrub graffiti off Winston Churchill statue following protests
Members of the public scrub graffiti off Winston Churchill statue following protests. Picture: LBC

Members of the public were out early to help scrub clean the statue of Winston Churchill on Parliament Square after it was defaced with graffiti at the weekend.

The monument, which is one of several standing around the square depicting iconic characters in history, was emblazoned with "was a racist" during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

But several people who spoke to LBC on Monday morning said it was "one step too far" to vandalise the former prime minister's memorial.

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"As much as we understand the protests and everything that is going on, defacing a national icon is that one step too far," one person who came out to help clean the statue said.

Another added: "It's very disrespectful."

So - where did this come from?

Winston Churchill is maybe best known in the UK for being the leader whose Second World War tactics saw off a potential invasion by the Nazi regime.

But his legacy in other parts of the world is vastly different, having also been remembered as the leader who played a key part in the 1943 Bengal famine in which 3 million people died.

READ MORE: 36 people arrested in London during Sunday's Black Lives Matter protests

His comments about other races and cultures are also well documented - once saying he hated Indians and thought they were "a beastly people with a beastly religion".

Speaking about the famine, he said it was the population's fault for "breeding like rabbits".

Mr Churchill also called Palestinians "barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung," and once bragged that he had shot three "savages" in Sudan.

Winston Churchill is remembered in the UK as a great wartime leader, but has a different legacy in other parts of the world
Winston Churchill is remembered in the UK as a great wartime leader, but has a different legacy in other parts of the world. Picture: Getty

On Monday, those who had come out to clean the statue of Britain's wartime leader said that by defacing it, it was creating more work for others.

One told LBC News: "Yes, make the signs, make the protests, but leave everything else out of it because it's just more work for the police.

"It's more work for everyone else - and at the end of the day, you've done it, yet you have to pay for it."

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