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Pastor’s teen son charged with spray-painting Winston Churchill ‘is a racist’ on statue during protest

A TEENAGER charged with vandalising the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is the son of a Baptist church minister.

Benjamin Clark, 18, is accused of spray-painting the words “is a racist” on the monument during Extinction Rebellion’s climate protest in London on Thursday.

The left-wing activist student lives with his preacher dad Andrew and teacher mum Tracy in a £650,000 house in Hertford, Hertfordshire. He has previously organised protests with the UK Student ­Climate Network in St Albans.

His dad is a pastor at Hertford Baptist Church and describes himself as a “trained spiritual director”. 

Yesterday Mr Clark said he did not want to comment on his son’s arrest.

Benjamin Clark was one of at least 680 arrested in connection with ten days of Extinction Rebellion protests.  He will appear at Westminster magistrates court on ­Friday October 9.

Others have been held on suspicion of obstructing the highway and breaching conditions of protest set under the Public Order Act since protests began on September 1.

Met Police Commander Jane Connors described the protests as a “significant challenge” during a “public health crisis”.

She said: “The public have a right to protest, but they do not have a right to cause disruption to the communities and businesses across London. That is why we took swift action to make a number of arrests.

“This has been a large policing operation and we will continue to investigate those who we suspect to have committed offences, so the number of arrests is likely to rise.”

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