Workers have boarded up Winston Churchill‘s statue in central London to protect it from damage ahead of another weekend of protests.
A protective barrier was placed around the monument at Parliament Square and the nearby Cenotaph on Thursday night amid concerns they could again be targeted by demonstrators.
It comes after activists scrawled “was a racist” on the statue of Britain’s war-time Prime Minister in as thousands descended on London for another protest over George Floyd‘s death.
As pictures of the covering of the monument emerged, Conservative MPs were among those to speak out.
Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, wrote on Twitter: “so sad that rioters can’t be trusted not to attack the cenotaph, so much so that they now feel the need to board it up.”
MP for Rother Valley Alexander Stafford said it was a “sad day” for the capital that the Cenotaph had to be boarded up.
“those that want to attack this symbol of freedom and liberty make me deeply ashamed.”
Workers were also expected to board up the George Washington statue in Trafalgar Square and other monuments.
The protests sparked by the death of Mr Floyd at the hands of a white US police officer ignited a discussion about the UK’s imperial past historical figures often associated with slavery and racism.
Two statues of people involved in the history of Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals are to be removed due to their links with the slave trade.
The Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust announced on Thursday that the figures depicting Robert Clayton and Thomas Guy will be taken out of public view.
Clayton, a former Lord Mayor of London, had ties to the Royal African Company, which transported slaves to the Americas. Guy invested in the South Sea Company, which was also involved in the trade.
It comes after the statue of slave trader Edward Coulston was pushed into the harbour during an anti-racism protest in Bristol.
Also on Thursday evening, video showed workers in hard hats scaling Colston Tower in Bristol city centre to remove the controversial figure’s name from atop the high-rise building.
The 15-storey tower block, in Colston Street, accommodates a number of offices.
Hours earlier, Colston’s statue was fished out of Bristol harbour after being pulled down and dumped into the water during an anti-racism demonstration on Sunday.