Piers Morgan in explosive row with academic who called Winston Churchill a 'racist' and compared him to Hitler

Patrick Grafton-Green

Piers Morgan became embroiled in a furious row with an academic who said Churchill was "racist" and compared the former prime minister to Hitler.

Professor Kehinde Andrews, a Black Studies expert at Birmingham City University, appeared on Good Morning Britain to debate the iconic leader.

It came after an astronaut was heavily criticised over the weekend for quoting Churchill in a tweet.

Scott Kelly was forced to apologise after he wrote on Sunday: “One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’ I guess those days are over.”

The American later said he would “educate” himself on Churchill's “atrocities” and “racist views” following backlash over the tweet.

Mr Andrews told GMB: “The historical record here is clear. Even Boris Johnson admits that he was racist.

“He believed that the white race was superior, that natives didn't have right to their lands in the Americas, the Indians were a ghastly people.”

Kehinde Andrews said Churchill

Morgan’s co-host Susanna Reid then asked if Churchill could be defended “because those were the views of the time”.

Mr Andrews replied: “That is the Jimmy Saville defence, it was ‘just a bit different back in the day’.

“At the time Leo Amery, the secretary of India, actually said that Churchill's views on India were so extreme he couldn't separate them from Hitler's.

Piers Morgan took issue when academic Kehinde Andrews called Churchill racist on Good Morning Britain (GMB)

“The truth is Hitler was a great military leader, a product of his time, and if they won the war we would be having this discussion now.

“This is the problem that Britain has, the reality is that the history of this country is built on racism and everyone involved in it probably has a really racist past.”

However Morgan was quick to shut Andrews down.

Piers Morgan praised Churchill's role in defeating Hitler (GMB)

“I’m not going to be told to feel ashamed of my country just because you say we’re a bunch of racists,” he declared.

He said although Churchill had "obvious flaws" he played a crucial role in defeating Hitler and the spread of Nazism.

“If it hadn't been for Winston Churchill I think we probably wouldn't have the stomach to take on Hitler,” he said. “He rallied everyone in this country."

Morgan then asked Mr Andrews why he still lived in Britain, despite being a “successful man” and having “enough money to live somewhere else”.

“This is the problem with Churchill; colonials and imperialism has ruined other parts of the world," he replied.

“Britain's impact has devastated most of the world and Churchill is a big part of that.”