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The greatest controversies of Winston Churchill’s career

During Britain’s darkest hours in World War Two, Churchill’s leadership was vital in maintaining morale and leading the country to eventual victory over Nazi Germany. In 2002 Churchill saw off the likes of Shakespeare, Darwin and Brunel to be voted the greatest

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Views on race

Views on race

World 360 Oct 10, 2017

In April last year, Labour candidate Benjamin Whittingham tweeted that Churchill was “a racist and white supremacist”. Sir Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson, was outraged. And Whittingham’s Conservative opponent Ben Wallace labelled the comments “ignorant” and “incredibly insulting”. The tweet was

Poison gas

Poison gas

World 360 Oct 10, 2017

Churchill has been criticised for advocating the use of chemical weapons – primarily against Kurds and Afghans. “I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas,” he wrote in a memo during his role as minister for war and

Bengal famine

Bengal famine

World 360 Oct 10, 2017

In 1943, India, then still a British possession, experienced a disastrous famine in the north-eastern region of Bengal – sparked by the Japanese occupation of Burma the year before. At least three million people are believed to have died –

Statements about Gandhi

Churchill had strong views on the man now widely respected for his work in advocating self-determination for India. “It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir… striding half-naked up

Attitudes towards Jews

In 2012 there were objections to a proposed Churchill Centre in Jerusalem on the basis that he was “no stranger to the latent anti-Semitism of his generation and class”. Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, countered that “he was familiar with the

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965

  Image copyrightPA Born 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Attended Harrow and Sandhurst before embarking on army career, seeing action in India, and Sudan Became Conservative MP in 1900, but in 1904 joined the Liberal Party. Cabinet

Attitudes towards Islam

Paul Weston, chairman of the Liberty GB party, was arrested last year on suspicion of racial harassment after reading aloud some of Churchill’s thoughts on Islam. Weston was quoting from Churchill’s 1899 book The River War, in which he wrote: “How dreadful

Treatment of strikers

Churchill’s reputation as being anti-union primarily stems from an incident in 1910. His handling of the Tonypandy Riots that year was the source of much controversy and invited ill-feeling towards him in south Wales for the rest of his life.

Sidney Street siege

Not long after the Tonypandy Riots, Churchill was under fire for rash involvement of a different sort. The siege of Sidney Street was a gunfight in London’s East End in January 1911. Some 200 police surrounded the hideout of a