Teenager charged over Sir Winston Churchill statue graffiti

The Winston Churchill statue was defaced on Thursday Credit: PA

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 yellow graffiti including the words "is a racist".

Extinction Rebellion protests Credit: PA

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.

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.

Commander Jane Connors, Metropolitan Police

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

Protester being arrested Credit: PA

680 people arrested during 10 days of Extinction Rebellion protests