Winston Churchill's statue 'contentious' due to his 'beastly' comments

The Cenotaph on Whitehall and Churchill statue in Parliament Square.

The Cenotaph on Whitehall and Churchill statue in Parliament Square. Credit: Getty Images

The Metropolitan Police has added Winston Churchill's statue in Parliament Square to a list of 10 "contentious" monuments because of their links to war, imperialism or slavery.

The notes on Churchill’s entry on the list state: “He referred to Indians as ‘a beastly people with a beastly religion’ and Palestinians as ‘barbaric hordes’.”

The list was revealed in a report by think tank Policy Exchange suggesting MPs, peers and journalists are increasingly being assaulted by protesters in the vicinity of parliament.

"The notes on some of the subjects of the ‘contentious statues’ are often selective or slanted," the report said. "This may, to be fair, be intended to reflect the reasons why they could be attacked by protesters rather than the force’s actual view.”

Mike Graham in suit speaking and Andrew Gilligan in white shirt

Mike Graham and report author Andrew Gilligan

Under the notes on Oliver Cromwell’s statue, the Met wrote: “He is considered controversial due to his involvement in the execution of King Charles I and atrocities committed against Catholics in Ireland.”

The notes on Gandhi say: “Social media indicates there is controversy regarding some of Gandhi’s remarks. He referred to black South Africans as ‘kaffirs’ [infidels] and stated that Indians were ‘infinitely superior’ to them.”

Speaking to TalkTV's Mike Graham, report author and journalist Andrew Gilligan said: "I'm not sure there's much we can do about the kind of rubbish that gets talked about on social media.

"We have to start teaching people, and maybe children in schools, to think about the stuff that they read. We need to teach children to be resilient to it."

Mike said the list was a product of the "left" at work: "You can't go, 'Well, that's obviously what happened, all these people died, it must be his fault over there.' That's not how it works."