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Teen charged after Winston Churchill statue defaced

Written by on 11 September 2020

An 18-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage after the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square was daubed with graffiti.

Benjamin Clark, of Wilton Crescent, Hertford, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 9 October.

Clark is accused of damaging the statue of Britain’s wartime leader on Thursday 10 September.

He was arrested after the plinth of the monument was defaced with yellow graffiti including the words “is a racist”.

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 1 September.

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The Churchill statue was boarded up when protests took place earlier this year

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

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She said: “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.”