Press "Enter" to skip to content

Teen, 18, charged with vandalising Winston Churchill statue during Extinction Rebellion protest

A TEENAGER has been charged with vandalising the statue of Winston Churchill in London during the Extinction Rebellion protests.

Benjamin Clark, 18, has been charged with criminal damage after the statue Parliament Square was defaced.

The teenager from Hertford is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 9, the Metropolitan Police said.

He was arrested after the plinth of the monument to the former prime minister was defaced on Thursday with yellow graffiti including the words “is a racist”.

The iconic monument was sprayed with the word “racist” in yellow graffiti – the third attack in as many months.

It comes after the historic memorial outside Parliament was targeted twice in as many days during the Black Lives Matter protests in June.

Masked yobs were seen leaping on cars as thousands of XR protesters gathered in central London yesterday afternoon.

Clark was one of at least 680 people arrested in connection with 10 days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

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

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

“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,” she said.

“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.”

We cannot now try to edit or censor our past.
We cannot pretend to have a different history.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the new graffiti would be removed from the Winston Churchill statue as soon as possible.

He said: “This appalling vandalism is completely unacceptable. It will be fully investigated and the statue will be cleaned as quickly as possible.”

Last week Priti Patel told police to use all available powers to crackdown on the eco-extremists after they blockaded national newspapers.

Downing Street accused XR of putting lives at risk by diverting crucial resources from the emergency services’ Covid battle.

The group has wreaked havoc across the UK over the past week and prevented 1.5million newspapers reaching the shops on Saturday, leading to more than 80 arrests.

The former Prime Minister’s statue was defaced twice in less than a week during Black Lives Matter protests in June.

The memorial to the wartime hero was graffitied with the words ‘racist’ – then four days later ACAB, believed to stand for “All Cops are B*******.”

Boris Johnson described the vandalism as “absurd and shameful” – and had to be boarded up.

The PM said: “We cannot now try to edit or censor our past.

“We cannot pretend to have a different history.”

Statues of Queen Victoria and slave trader Edward Colston were also targeted during anti-racism demos in June.

Protesters in Bristol tore down the Colston statue and threw it into the harbour.

A second Winston Churchill statue was vandalised outside of central London earlier this year.

The memorial in Woodford Green, northeast London, was similarly graffitied by demonstrators.

Downing Street accused XR of putting lives at risk by diverting crucial resources from the emergency services’ Covid battle.

The group has wreaked havoc across the UK over the past week and prevented 1.5million newspapers reaching the shops on Saturday, leading to more than 80 arrests.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *