Jacob Rees-Mogg has thanked the “woke brigade” for reminding Britons of the “great heroes” in the country’s history.
The Commons Leader said he believes people are now more aware of the statues they walk past and want to learn about them.
Responding to a request for a debate on protecting Britain’s history and heritage, Mr Rees-Mogg told the Commons: “In a funny way the woke brigade has done the nation of service because they’ve reminded people of the great heroes that we have.
“Lots of statues that people used to walk past and not really notice, they suddenly think: ‘Gosh, that’s Gordon of Khartoum, he’s an interesting figure, I want to know more about him and what he did to put down the slave trade in the Sudan’.
“I think this has helped remind people of our history and that it’s a history we can be enormously proud of.
“That British people did great things in this country and across the globe, and we see that actually in the United States.
“The United States when it sought its freedom wanted to ensure that it had the freedoms that the people of the United Kingdom were entitled to at home.
“It was a most fantastic history that we should be proud of and celebrate in our statues and in our education.
“So we should be grateful that the wokery classes have had this effect on improving our understanding of our noble history.”
Some MPs have been campaigning for a new law to protect war memorials from being desecrated and make it easier to prosecute vandals.
In June 2020, Labour councils pledged to review the “appropriateness” of monuments in their areas on public land and council property.
This was announced after campaigners tore down a statue of slave trader in Bristol.