Teenager charged after Winston Churchill statue daubed with 'is a racist' graffiti

PA Credit: The graffiti on Churchill's statue

A teenager has been charged with criminal damage after the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was daubed with graffiti.

Benjamin Clark, 18, 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 the words “is a racist” in yellow graffiti.

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

The Churchill statue was repeatedly vandalised during the Black Lives Matter protests. Credit: PA

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.

The statue of Churchill in Parliament Square has become a significant point of contention in recent months in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

The government was forced to temporarily encase it in a box while the capital after it was repeatedly vandalised.

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.”