Did Google ban Churchill? Wartime leader's picture mysteriously vanishes from search giant's list of British Prime Ministers amid furious argument over UK statue of wartime leader

Winston Churchill's photo mysteriously disappeared from Google's list of British prime ministers overnight, coinciding with protesters calling for his statue to be torn down.
The wartime leader was the only prime minister to be left without a photo with Clement Attlee, Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, who all served before Churchill, still displayed with their images.  
Google claimed later the image disappeared due to an update, and said it would be resolved 'as rapidly as possible'. It was absent for around 12 hours.
The picture's disappearance coincides with an escalating row over whether his memorial in Parliament Square, London, should stay up with Black Lives Matter supporters calling for it to be torn down.  
Imarn Ayton, 29, who has given speeches alongside Star Wars actor John Boyega in support of the BLM movement, said yesterday the monument is offensive and should be moved to a museum.
Even his granddaughter Emma Soames, after seeing the statue daubed with 'was a racist', said that if people were 'so infuriated' it may be 'safer' in a museum. 
Yesterday, clashes between far-right yobs, Black Lives Matter supporters and riot police erupted in Trafalgar Square and Waterloo station, with the far-right demonstrators claiming to be protecting Churchill's monument.
Police chiefs imposed a 5pm curfew on all demonstrations in a bid to quell the unrest as the anti-racist rally and a far right counter-protest descended into hooliganism driven by a hard core of violent activists. 
Boris Johnson spoke out against what he described as the 'racist thuggery' seen during demonstrations after facing criticism for his response to the unrest this week. 
Winston Churchill's picture disappeared from Google's list of British prime ministers for 12 hours today. Google claimed this was due to an 'update'. It coincides with calls from Black Lives Matter protesters for his statue to be removed
Winston Churchill's picture disappeared from Google's list of British prime ministers for 12 hours today. Google claimed this was due to an 'update'. It coincides with calls from Black Lives Matter protesters for his statue to be removed
Google said it was working to put the image back 'as rapidly as possible'. It re-appeared on the search engine at midday
Google said it was working to put the image back 'as rapidly as possible'. It re-appeared on the search engine at midday
Churchill's description did not display an image
He is the only British leader that was affected
Churchill's picture was also no longer displayed on his brief description, which is shown for all prime ministers. The wartime hero is the only British leader to have been left without an image
Google users suggested the image was being pulled from Wikipedia as a default. However, his picture still remained on the Wikipedia website. Google restored Churchill's picture to the search engine today
Google users suggested the image was being pulled from Wikipedia as a default. However, his picture still remained on the Wikipedia website. Google restored Churchill's picture to the search engine today
The wartime leader's statue in parliament square has been covered up to protect it from further damage during protests. More than 100 people were arrested in London yesterday following protests
The wartime leader's statue in parliament square has been covered up to protect it from further damage during protests. More than 100 people were arrested in London yesterday following protests

Google users said Churchill's image had disappeared from the search engine in the UK, US, Australia, South Africa and other countries, as they branded it 'disgraceful' and 'disgusting'.
They were quick to question why it was not there and point out that other war leaders who were tyrants, including Stalin and Hitler, were still displayed by the search engine. 
A request to Google from users for an explanation read: 'The images on the search results are taken from Wikipedia, it's not clear to me why this would break in only the UK and the US.
'It's especially interesting given the current controversy around Churchill in our countries. Even more interesting is that pictures of Hitler, Stalin and Mao are shown with no issues.'

A search engine expert responded at the time saying the image appears to be a 'default'.
Google SearchLiaison said in a statement: 'We're aware an image for Sir Winston Churchill is missing from his Knowledge Graph entry on Google. We apologise for any concern. This was not purposeful and will be resolved.
'Images in such panels are automatically created and updated. During an update, they can briefly disappear.
'We don't have an exact time for when Churchill's Knowledge Graph image will be restored, but it will be as rapidly done as possible.' 
Social media users reacted with fury to the removal, with many questions its timing in light of the campaign to remove Churchill's statue.
Pictured above is Google's statement this morning. They claimed an 'update' had caused the image to disappear
Pictured above is Google's statement this morning. They claimed an 'update' had caused the image to disappear
Black Lives Matter activist Imarn Ayton, 29, called for Churchill's statue to be removed yesterday, branding it 'offensive'
Black Lives Matter activist Imarn Ayton, 29, called for Churchill's statue to be removed yesterday, branding it 'offensive'
Churchill's statue in Westminster was daubed with 'was a racist' during an anti-racism march in the capital last week
Churchill's statue in Westminster was daubed with 'was a racist' during an anti-racism march in the capital last week

One wrote: 'Google deleted Churchill but kept Hitler and Stalin.'
Another said: 'I don't like conspiracies, so I had to check... Churchill's picture is indeed not on Google. & neither is his 1940-1945 entry. Which is also the period where he oversaw our role in WW2. I hope it's just a not-so-convenient glitch, but if not, this stinks of history revisionism.'
A third commented: 'I just checked this claim out & Google *have* blanked Winston Churchill in pictures of British prime ministers. WTAF?' 
BLM activist Ms Ayton, 29, yesterday shared her belief that the Churchill statue should be removed. 
She told BBC Radio 4: 'Yes I do. I believe these statues should be moved to a museum I think it's a win win for everyone.
'It no longer offends the black nation, but we get to keep our history and keep those that would like to see that.
Asked why Churchill's statue was offensive, she said: 'Any statue of people who has spoken negatively towards black people is going to be offensive. Any man.'
Activists daubed the words 'was a racist' on the statue during angry anti-racism demonstrations last weekend.
His granddaughter Emma Soames told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she felt 'extraordinarily sad that my grandfather, who was such a unifying figure in this country, appears to have become a sort of icon through being controversial'.
She said if people were 'so infuriated' by seeing the statue, it may be 'safer' in a museum.
But Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames swiftly condemned any attempt to move it from the spot the former PM had chosen before he died in 1965.
'I will have nothing of taking statues down and putting them in museums,' he said.
Sir Nicholas told protesters to 'read your history and grow up', and said it was 'rubbish' and a 'lunatic representation' to call his grandfather racist. He told LBC: 'All his life he fought fascism.'
The Mail on Sunday has launched a petition urging Boris Johnson to make a public pledge that the monument to Britain's celebrated wartime leader will never be removed. 
Churchill, who was Prime Minister twice, is considered a national hero and often leads polls on who was the greatest-ever Briton. His picture was chosen to appear on the new polymer £5 notes.
However, critics say his legacy is tarnished by controversial remarks he made about different races and his role in the Bengal famine in 1943 after Allied forces halted food supplies, leading to an estimated 3 million deaths.
Mr Johnson, who wrote a biography of Churchill in 2014, acknowledged the former PM had expressed opinions which were 'unacceptable to us today', but he remained a hero for saving Britain from 'fascist and racist tyranny'. However, Mr Johnson was coming under increasing pressure last night to promise that the statue was going nowhere, amid a chorus of support for our petition. 
Churchill's statue in parliament square, Westminster, has been covered up for its protection. Protesters are pictured marching around the monument yesterday
Churchill's statue in parliament square, Westminster, has been covered up for its protection. Protesters are pictured marching around the monument yesterday
Other statues across the capital, including Nelson Mandela's, have also been covered in order to protect them from protests
Other statues across the capital, including Nelson Mandela's, have also been covered in order to protect them from protests
Boris Johnson spoke out against what he described as the 'racist thuggery' seen during demonstrations after facing criticism for his response to the unrest this week
Boris Johnson spoke out against what he described as the 'racist thuggery' seen during demonstrations after facing criticism for his response to the unrest this week
It comes as thousands of protesters took to the streets all over the UK yesterday, both in support of Black Lives Matter and a counter-protest to protect memorials like Churchill's statue in Parliament Square. 
The capital was the site of the most violent clashes as far-right groups hijacked peaceful protests led by veterans attempting to protect monuments. 
Met Police confirmed that more than 100 people were arrested during yesterday's protest for offences including breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on officers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A drugs, and drunk and disorder. 
Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said today that he was 'extremely disturbed' by the 'completely unacceptable' scenes of violence on the streets of London on Saturday.
Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday show, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: 'I want to say a particular word as well about that awful scene of someone urinating next to PC Keith Palmer's memorial.
'Absolutely despicable behaviour and I hope that individual is identified and brought to justice.'
A 28-year-old man has been arrested in Essex on suspicion of outraging public decency after a 'far-right' protester was photographed urinating next to the memorial dedicated to Pc Palmer, the officer who was stabbed to death in the 2017 terror attack in Westminster. 
Mr Thomas-Symonds said he also would back the Government in creating a specific offence against damaging war memorials and said he would be willing to work cross-party to support such efforts in Parliament. 
He said: 'Well, firstly I would support the government in creating a specific offence of protecting war memorials and I would be willing to work with the government on that.
'But let's not be moved away either from what we've seen since the awful killing of George Floyd in America because the government needs to show leadership on the inequalities and racism that still sadly exist in our country and the Prime Minister needs to come forward and show that he understands the hurt and the anguish of the stories that black people in our country have spoken about so movingly in recent weeks and also to set out the concrete steps that his government now intends to take to address that.' 
A veteran went to Churchill's boarded up statue in Parliament Square yesterday - and held a flag reading 'lest we forget'
War hero pictured with the boarded up statue
A veteran went to Churchill's boarded up statue in Parliament Square yesterday - and held a flag reading 'lest we forget'
Police fight to maintain control in Trafalgar Square amid both Black Lives Matter and pro-statue protests in London yesterday
Police fight to maintain control in Trafalgar Square amid both Black Lives Matter and pro-statue protests in London yesterday
On the man arrested for urinating on PC Palmer's memorial, the Metropolitan Police said: 'A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency after a man was photographed apparently urinating on the memorial dedicated to PC Keith Palmer.
'The incident is believed to have taken place in the afternoon of Saturday, June 13. The man is currently in custody in Essex after presenting himself at a police station.'
Meanwhile, shadow justice secretary David Lammy said Mr Johnson's tweets about the Churchill statue are a 'deflection'.
In a series of eight tweets on Friday, Mr Johnson said to take statues down would 'be to lie about our history'.
He tweeted: 'The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country - and the whole of Europe - from a fascist and racist tyranny.'
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Tottenham Labour MP Mr Lammy said: 'Boris Johnson sent out eight tweets, I think it was, on Friday on Winston Churchill and statues.
'He's never tweeted eight times in a day on coronavirus, he's never tweeted eight times in a day on the Windrush review or what he's going to do about it, or on the review that David Cameron asked me to do on disproportionality in the criminal justice system and what he's going to do about it.
'This feels to me like a bit of a deflection. Let's get to the action, let's have some substance, let's do something about these historic injustices that still exist in our country.'
As the clocks struck 5pm, around 1,200 protesters in London ignored requests to go home, instead staying in Trafalgar Square - one of the flash points where a small number of troublemakers sparked violent clashes with police earlier on.
Elsewhere, between 350 and 400 Black Lives Matter protesters headed south of the River Thames to Waterloo station, chasing men they said were members of hate group EDL. 
Smoke bombs were let off and bottles thrown as police struggled to protect the men on the steps of the train station.
It all started with a pro-statue rally at around 11.30am which featured veterans dressed in military uniform as well as far-right thugs such as Britain First leader Paul Golding. 
Around that time, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered peacefully in Hyde Park. 
Carnage started to erupt after midday as far right thugs peeled off from their rally in Parliament Square and began pelting cans and bottles at the police blockading the Cenotaph. 
Police issued a Section 60 order around this time. 
Large numbers of people in the group then moved to Trafalgar Square where they were separated by police lines from BLM demonstrators who started to gather. Skirmishes were seen both there and in Parliament Square.
Shortly before the 5pm curfew kicked in in Trafalgar Square, one man was attacked - believed to be a Tommy Robinson supporter - by angry crowds. 
The injured man was swarmed before being punched and kicked to the floor leaving blood streaming from his nose. 
Other protesters managed to drive a wedge in between the man and his attackers and stop the violence before police moved in.
He was later taken out of the square by officers, staggering unsteadily on his feet. 
Around 6.30pm in Parliament Square, officers herded the final far-right protesters away from the statue of Churchill and began moving them across the green space and onto a road.
At around 7pm, police blocked off two pedestrian bridges between Embankment and Waterloo in London. Officers said they had been blocked off as Black Lives Matter protesters had been on them attempting to get north in the capital.  
Did Google ban Churchill? Wartime leader's picture mysteriously vanishes from search giant's list of British Prime Ministers amid furious argument over UK statue of wartime leader Did Google ban Churchill? Wartime leader's picture mysteriously vanishes from search giant's list of British Prime Ministers amid furious argument over UK statue of wartime leader Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:09 Rating: 5

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