National leader Judith Collins lashes out at Greens over shifting of Winston Churchill painting in Parliament

National leader Judith Collins is lashing out at the Greens over the shifting of a painting of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament. 

"Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest anti-fascist leader of the 20th century is removed from the walls of Parliament because the Greens don't like him," Collins tweeted on Wednesday, with an image of the painting being removed. 

"Fortunately, he is finding a home with ⁦@NZNationalParty⁩ offices in Parliament."

A spokesperson for Green MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Art Committee, confirmed to Newshub that she sought to have the painting relocated.

"As Chair of the Committee, Dr Kerekere raised moving the painting of Winston Churchill."

But it was to accommodate a new piece of art by a tangata whenua artist.

"We are really excited about displaying artwork by Marilynn Webb outside the Green Party office and the hallway to the Speaker's Gallery. 

"The painting of Winston Churchill is a significant work that will remain on permanent display in a public area of Parliament."

Dr Kerekere hit back at Collins by suggesting the National Party leader was allowing herself to get distracted.

"After saying she wanted to refocus on the important issues, it's disappointing to see Judith Collins instead focusing on the placement of a painting.

"My focus for today will be on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, and the rights of trans, intersex and non-binary people."

National MP Simeon Brown also hit out at the Greens.

"The Green Party's hatred of Sir Winston Churchill is born out of a hatred of the western values and freedoms that he fought for: Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of Religion, freedom of association," Brown said on Twitter.

"Looking fwd to welcoming Sir Winston Churchill to Nationals [sic] offices."

Sir Winston was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955.

Churchill is widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures. He's seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending democracy against the spread of Nazi fascism. 

But Churchill has also been criticised for his imperialist views, including controversial comments on race.