Vandals have thrown red paint over the statue of Britain's Second World War prime minister Sir Winston Churchill opposite the Houses of Parliament, police said today.
The stone plinth of the six-metre high monument, which looks across to parliament, was streaked with paint and police are treating the incident as criminal damage.
Peter Bottomley, a lawmaker for the main opposition Conservatives, which was one of the two parties Churchill stood for, said he was "disappointed".
"I was surprised and upset. I am just glad they got the base and not the statue itself," he added.
Churchill was voted the greatest Briton of all time in a BBC poll conducted in 2002.
During an anti-capitalist demonstration in 2000, the statue acquired a mohican haircut made of grass and was made to look as if blood was dribbling from its mouth.