St Paul’s Cathedral removes description of Winston Churchill as ‘white supremacist’

Sir Winston Churchill in the cabinet room at 10 Downing Street  (PA Archive)
Sir Winston Churchill in the cabinet room at 10 Downing Street (PA Archive)

St Paul’s Cathedral has removed an “offensive” online description of Winston Churchill after receiving a flood of complaints.

The post on the Cathedral’s website sparked fury after it called the wartime leader an “unashamed imperialist” and “white supremacist”.

It noted Sir Winston’s role in fighting the Nazis but added: “He is also a figure of controversy, as he was an unashamed imperialist and white supremacist.”

The description had been online for more than a year but was altered on Friday. It now describes him as “a figure of controversy, especially when viewed from a modern perspective”.

Sir Winston’s grandson Nicholas Soames says the family were highly upset by the “offensive, stupid and ignorant remarks”.

He added: “Even for allowances of some of the sort of more extreme views in the Church of England, this is really going too far.”

Lee Anderson, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, told the Mail on Sunday: “It is getting ridiculous. Anyone publicising information like this needs to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask themselves why they hate this country so much, its history and its heritage. They are idiots.”

Throughout his life Sir Winston made numerous controversial statements on race.

Some academics have therefore labelled him “the perfect embodiment of white supremacy” while others call this an unfair characterisation and instead regard him as the country’s saviour.

A spokesman for the cathedral, which hosted Sir Winston’s 1965 state funeral, said: “Information on our website regarding the state funeral of Winston Churchill was recently updated.

“It was brought to our attention that part of the text within the description was not consistent with the tone of the rest of the page. We have therefore reworded the paragraph with the aim of making the description more balanced and appropriate in its context.”