A CONSERVATIVE peer has come to the defence of Holyrood’s youngest MSP after he called Sir Winston Churchill a “white supremacist”.

Daniel Finkelstein, a former adviser to several Tory party leaders, said Green MSP Ross Greer was quite right to say that Britain’s wartime Prime Minister was a racist.

“To call him a white supremacist is nothing but the truth,” Lord Finkelstein said.

However he criticised Mr Greer’s assessment of Churchill as a “mass murderer” because of his inaction during the Bengal famine of 1943, calling it a “wild idea”.

Lord Finkelstein also said Churchill’s stand against Adolf Hitler and the defeat of Nazi Germany meant he had saved countless Jewish lives, including those of his own family.

“If it wasn’t for Sir Winston Churchill, I wouldn’t be alive,” said the peer, whose mother survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

READ MORE: Piers Morgan clashes with MSP Ross Greer live on air in Winston Churchill row

Mr Greer, 24, received a public mauling after attacking Churchill’s record last month.

As the Conservative party marked the anniversary of their former leader's death, the West of Scotland MSP tweeted he had been a “white supremacist and a mass murderer”.

Broadcaster Piers Morgan called Mr Greer a “thick ginger turd” for the remark.

While Tory deputy chairman James Cleverly accused him of the "most superficial and inaccurate assessment”, and said it was “absolutely ridiculous” to judge the language used in the Edwardian era by today’s standards.

Mr Greer refused to back down, saying on TV that Churchill had praised the “Aryan” race while letting millions starve in India in 1943, adding: “In the UK we don’t teach the history of the British Empire.”

READ MORE: Piers Morgan brands Green MSP Ross Greer 'thick ginger turd' in Churchill row

Writing in the Times, in an article titled "Churchill was a racist but still a great man", Lord Finkelstein said Mr Greer was correct on some points.

He wrote: “When Churchill’s modern critics, such as the Green Party MSP Ross Greer, say that he was a white supremacist, they are right. Churchill justified British imperialism as being for the good of the ‘primitive’ and ‘subject races’.

“And he was also a supporter of eugenics, supporting the segregation of ‘feeble-minded’ people and showing an interest in the possibility of sterilisation lest the breeding of ‘unfit’ people pose a ‘very terrible danger to the race’.

“So to call him a white supremacist is nothing but the truth. And it is never a good idea to deny the truth. To insist that for Churchill to be a great man he must never have thought or done anything bad is to insist that the world is divided into good and bad people and you can only be one or other.”

He added: “To talk only of Churchill as a hero, though hero he was, while ignoring his attitudes to empire and race is bad history both of the man and of Britain.”

But he said the description of Churchil as a mass murderer was "outlandish".

READ MORE: Ross Greer and Piers Morgan spat shows we need to take more balanced view on Churchill

Lord Finkelstein, 56, was a director of the Conservative party’s research department in the mid-1990s, advising then Tory PM John Major.

He later advised Tory leader William Hague, when he was leader of the Opposition.

Mr Greer said: "Daniel Finkelstein is engaging in exactly the sort of honest debate about Churchill which this country should be capable of having.

"He acknowledges the historical fact of the man’s intense white supremacism and coherently argues why, in his view, Churchill was still a great man.

"I might disagree with that conclusion but we are both clearly starting from a place of historical fact rather than the myth which many of those who reacted so hysterically to my tweet seem to base their views on.”