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The move to tackle the Sir Winston Churchill monument has been compared by a Tory couple to the “fascist days of the Islamic State” in Syria.
Tory Lord Marlesford said the attack on statues amid fears of a clash between Black Lives Matters activists and far-right groups in the capital gave way to the “flag of anarchy” in Parliament Square.
His comments come days after Boris Johnson condemned the “absurd and shameful” attacks on the statue of the former British Prime Minister and said that the United Kingdom “cannot lie about its history.”
Speaking about the decision to place the statue in a box, Lord Marlesford told his companions: “Every day that the statue of Winston Churchill remains locked up is a day when the flag of anarchy is raised over Parliament Square.” .
Tory Lord Marlesford peer has boxing the statue of Sir Winston Churchill
A Tory peer has said boxing the statue of Sir Winston Churchill was raising the ‘banner of anarchy’ in Parliament Square
The monument was boarded up this month amid fears of a clash between Black Lives Matters activists and far-right groups
Tory peer Lord Marlesford (pictured) said the targeting of statues echoed ‘horribly the fascist days of Islamic State when they attacked the city of Palmyra’ in Syria
Tory peer Lord Marlesford said the targeting of statues echoed ‘horribly
Tory couple Lord Marlesford (pictured) said the attack on the statues “horribly echoed the fascist days of the Islamic State when they attacked the city of Palmyra” in Syria.
He later condemned the “terrible murder” of George Floyd, but said direct action against the statues echoed “horribly the Islamic State fascist days when they attacked the city of Palmyra” in Syria.
Interior Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford, who was answering an urgent question from the Lords about the Black Lives Matter protests after Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, USA. The USA agreed that the ‘locked up’ statue was an ‘unfortunate sight’.
Lady Williams said the sooner Churchill is released and commemorated, once again as one of the greatest people to ever live, the better.
She said: “ The Boxed Churchill is a shame to see. The sooner Churchill is released and commemorated, once again, as one of the greatest people who has ever lived, the better.
She added that peaceful protest was a vital part of a democratic society, but the coronavirus remained a “real and present threat to all of us” and mass meetings were at risk of spreading the disease.
Changes to ‘urban architecture’ should be agreed through democratic processes, not criminal damages, he said.
After the attacks on the Churchill statue, Boris Johnson criticized the acts of vandalism and said the statue was a “permanent reminder” of the “former Prime Minister’s achievement in saving this country.”
On Twitter, Mr. Johnson wrote: ‘The Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country, and all of Europe, from fascist and racist tyranny.
‘It is absurd and shameful that this national monument is today at risk of being attacked by violent protesters. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero and deserves his memory.
‘Now we cannot try to edit or censor our past. We cannot claim to have a different story. The statues in our cities and towns were raised by previous generations. They had different perspectives, different interpretations of right and wrong.
‘But those statues teach us about our past, with all its flaws. Taking them down would be lying about our history and impoverishing the education of future generations.
On Sunday Boris Johnson announced plans for an intergovernmental commission to examine “all aspects” of racial inequality in Britain after two weeks of Black Lives Matter protests.
Tory Lord Marlesford protester in a face mask stands in front of the Winston Churchill statue in Parliamen
A protester in a face mask stands in front of the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square during the Black Lives Matter protest
Boris Johnson previously spoke out against the acts of vandalism on Churchill’s statue and said ‘we cannot now try to edit or censor out past’
In a series of tweets, Johnson defended the Churchill statue and said the country could not claim to have a different story.
He told the Lords that racism was “deeply rooted and affects all parts of society, including the Church, and we all have a lot to do to deal with it.”
Lady Williams said the Government was considering a series of recommendations.
Meanwhile, Tory Lord Ribeiro said the statues should remain in place, but with more information attached that explains how the person achieved their wealth and status.
Lady Williams agreed, adding: “To remove things is to erase history, and to erase history is absolutely not what we should be dealing with in educating our children about the minor crimes of the past and the great things of the past.”
“We should eliminate racism, not the legacies of our history, which seek to educate us all.”
She recognized that some statues around Westminster were “offensive” to her, but were a “learning point” for the story.
The exchanges came after a second weekend of violent clashes in the capital when far-right protesters seized areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square on Saturday in response to previous anti-racism protests.
Tory Lord Marlesford Quick Facts
- Tory Lord Marlesford spoken against the decision to board up Churchill’s statue
- He said move was raising the ‘banner of anarchy’ in London’s Parliament Square
- Comes days after Boris Johnson condemned the ‘shameful’ attacks on the statue