Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been slammed for failing to protect Winston Churchill’s statue from “thuggery” and demanding our “national hero” be set free.
Home Secretary Priti Patel hit out at Khan’s move to board up Churchill’s statue saying it was a “sad reflection” on the Mayor.
Patel told the Daily Mail, “We should free Churchill, a hero of our nation, who fought against fascism and racism in this country and Europe. He has given us the freedom to live our lives the way we do today.
“We have seen the desecration of war memorials, which is thoroughly unacceptable. Now we’re seeing a national hero being boarded up
“I think this is a sad reflection on the mayor of London because had he stood up for the right thing, had he called out the minority who were subversive in a peaceful protest, had he pulled up the thuggery in the right way, we would not be seeing the boarding up of our national hero.”
Khan accused the Home Secretary of political point scoring and defended his decision to board up the statue and other monuments such as the Cenotaph, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, as a wise precaution.
Khan told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, “She [Patel] needs to see the intelligence that we have seen that the far right are intending to come to central London.
“One of their justifications for doing so is to protect these statues but also they are intending to remove statues of people like Nelson Mandela, so I think we have done the wise, precautionary thing.
“Rather than seeking to make political points out of this, what I hope is that central government would work with regional government and the police to make sure there isn’t violence, vandalism or disorder, or inadvertently the spreading of the virus.”
Earlier this week Khan has warned Londoners to stay at home this weekend as anti-racism and far right groups are set to protest this weekend across London.
Khan is said he is “extremely concerned” that demonstrations, particularly by extreme far-right groups who “advocate hatred and division” may well lead to violence and disorder in the capital.
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance called (DFLA) have called on their 35,000 supporters to protect key statues and monuments in London.
Tommy Robinson who is the former English Defence League leader, has also given his support for counter protests and accused the police of being “soft handed” at the protests last weekend.
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said, “We have got the perfect storm ahead of us this weekend, we have got planned protests and now Tommy Robinson and his agitators.”