Churchill was a 'racist' and comparable to Hitler, says academic

Iconic British Prime Minister Winston Churchill "was a racist", according to Professor Kehinde Andrews, an academic focusing on Black Studies at Birmingham City University.

He made the comments during a fiery debate on Good Morning Britain. It follows a respected astronaut having to apologise for quoting the iconic leader in a tweet.

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister who led the UK to victory in World War Two

Scott Kelly tweeted Sunday: "One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, “in victory, magnanimity.” I guess those days are over."

He has since stepped away from those comments, responding to criticism in a second tweet which read: "Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support. My point was we need to come together as one nation. We are all Americans. That should transcend partisan politics."

Both his tweets remain on the social media site at the time of writing.

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Credit: Twitter/Scott Kelly

One of those voices saying that the actions of Churchill should be condemned, Professor Kehinde Andrews told Good Morning Britain: "[Churchill] was someone who believed the white race was superior, the natives didn't have any right to their lands in the Americas, the Indians were a ghastly people and was just a general imperialist racist."

He went on to add: "The history of this country is built on racism. And therefore everybody involved in it probably has a really racist place."

The academic then said that Winston Churchill's views on India "were so extreme, they couldn't be seperated from Hitler's", quoting the Secretary of State for the subcontinent when it came under British rule.

Earlier this year, women criticised the former Prime Minister suggesting that they should be ashamed by him.