'Do they want Stalin up there?': Collins lashes out at Greens

Author
Thomas Coughlan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Aug 2021, 12:38PM
National leader Judith Collins mimics Churchill's V for Victory sign, beside the wall where his portrait once hung. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
National leader Judith Collins mimics Churchill's V for Victory sign, beside the wall where his portrait once hung. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

'Do they want Stalin up there?': Collins lashes out at Greens

Author
Thomas Coughlan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Aug 2021, 12:38PM

National leader Judith Collins is "disgusted" that a portrait of Winston Churchill was moved from its place in Parliament, allegedly at the behest of the Green Party.

Collins has asked that the portrait be relocated to the National Party's parliamentary base on the third floor of Parliament house.

"He belongs in Parliament because, if you know your history, he was one of the very few political leaders who was prepared to stand up to the Nazis and fascists in World War II," Collins said.

"I just think the Greens are uninformed by history. What do they want him replaced with - do they want Stalin up there?" Collins said.

The portrait usually hangs on the second floor of Parliament House. That part of the building is public, and people can see the portrait if they visit Parliament's public galleries when the House is in session.

The portrait has long hung on the second floor of Parliament outside the doors which lead to the public galleries above the Debating Chamber.

Members of the public would walk past it on their way to watch Parliament.

Despite hanging in a public part of the building, the portrait hangs directly outside the Green Party's parliamentary offices. The party has only recently moved into those offices, after a reshuffle of parliamentary office space.

The Green Party said the artwork was being moved "elsewhere".

"[n]ew artwork has been purchased by the parliamentary art committee, chaired by [Green MP] Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.

"The new artwork will take the place of previous artwork which will still be on permanent display in Parliament in another location," said a spokesperson for the party.

Collins was unhappy with the move.

"I'm actually really pissed off. I'm disgusted that Parliament has actually let this happen," said Collins.

"This is a public area of Parliament and the Greens get to dictate that Winston Churchill, the politician who had the stamina, the courage, the fortitude to stand up against fascism when others around him were appeasing.

"They get to determine whether or not he's there. It's disgraceful."

Collins said she would not fight the Greens on the beaches, but she just wanted someone to take the picture of Winston home.