Protecting a statue of former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill from potential vandalism by boarding it up is "absurd and shameful", PM Boris Johnson has said, according to the BBC.
Johnson said the war-time leader expressed opinions that were "unacceptable to us today" but remained a hero for saving the country from "fascist and racist tyranny".
Protesters daubed "was a racist" on the Parliament Square tribute last weekend.
In a series of tweets, Johnson said monuments like Churchill's were put up by previous generations as he urged people to "stay away" from demonstrations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We cannot try to edit or censor our past," he wrote of moves to remove tributes to historical figures. "We cannot pretend to have a different history."
It comes after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was thrown into the river in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday.
Demonstrations have been taking place across the world following the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.