Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Churchill should be judged on his triumphs, not by his darker moments - Sir Nicholas Soames
13 June 2020, 11:38 | Updated: 13 June 2020, 11:55
The grandson of Sir Winston Churchill said that the wartime Prime Minister should be recognised for his triumphs rather than his flaws.
Sir Nicholas Soames was speaking with LBC's Matt Frei following the news that the former Prime Minister's statue in London had been boarded up ahead of expected protests this weekend.
The former Conservative MP said he was "deeply shocked" to see his grandfather's memorial entombed in metal as he fought "for liberty and democracy" for all his life.
"I think most people will acknowledge that statue commemorates Churchill's war leadership, his saving of the western world as the leader of the western world and always his fight for liberty and democracy." The 72-year-old acknowledged the importance of Black Lives Matter protests but warned they are being hijacked by "dreadful anarchists."
Sir Nicholas added it was "complete rubbish" to call his grandfather Sir Winston Churchill a racist and urged people to judge him on his victories rather than defining him by his flaws. He said everyone of Churchill's time was "bound to make mistakes and say things you regret" and said the idea of him being a fascist or a racist is a "lunatic representation” of his character.
"Some of his views judged today would be unacceptable, thank god those views aren’t the whole today,” Sir Nicholas said.
“I’m afraid the teaching of history in this country is abominable, we no longer take our history seriously and it's very sad and one of the by-results of that is you get this absolute lunatic representation of Churchill as a racist” he added.
Speaking about protests following the "unforgivable murder" of George Floyd in the US last month, he said: "I think people should listen very carefully to what these Black Lives Matter demonstrators think."
"They have a good message and it's being hijacked by these perfectly dreadful people on the hard-left and the hard-right and the idea that some hard-right anarchists are going to turn up to guard Churchill's statue - who spent his entire life fighting against people like that - is all very strange."
He said the statues should remain standing where they are as "people have to understand that these great, historical figures" should be taken in the context of the time they lived.