The Tories have branded activists who topple statues of slave traders and racists a "baying mob" - and vowed to stop them in law.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick risked a new row today as he took aim at what he called "woke worthies", who toppled slaver statues amid Black Lives Matter marches.
Mr Jenrick insisted memorials should be preserved and 'put in context' - not hidden away.
He announced any decision to remove heritage assets in England will require planning permission and a consultation with local communities, adding he wanted to see a "considered approach".
Anti-racism rallies targeted figures linked to Britain's stained colonial histories - dumping Bristol slaver Edward Colston's statue into the city's harbour.
Detractors accused the statue topplers of censorship.
But the saga prompted wider discussion on the removal of controversial monuments linked to Imperial Britain's bloody past.
During the uproar, campaigners pointed out they had tried for years without success to get Bristol authorities to launch an official process to debate Colston's influence in the city.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph today, Robert Jenrick said: "Our view will be set out in law, that such monuments are almost always best explained and contextualised, not taken and hidden away."
He said the government would table legislation aimed at stopping left wing Labour councils and mayors from tearing down statues, and changing controversial street names.
Mr Jenrick wrote that neighbourhoods would have to be consulted on such changes as he insisted Britain must not try to 'edit or censor' its past.
The plans to change the legislation are reportedly set to be laid out by the Tories in Parliament on Monday.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jenrick said he had noticed an attempt to set a narrative which seeks to erase part of the nation's history.
He wrote that his was "at the hand of the flash mob, or by the decree of a 'cultural committee' of town hall militants and woke worthies".
He continued: "We live in a country that believes in the rule of law, but when it comes to protecting our heritage, due process has been overridden. That can't be right.
"Local people should have the chance to be consulted whether a monument should stand or not.
"What has stood for generations should be considered thoughtfully, not removed on a whim or at the behest of a baying mob."
The death of George Floyd while in the custody of police in Minneapolis sparked protests across the world last year.
A memorial to Sir Winston Churchill in London was also vandalised with the words "is a racist".
The wartime hero Prime Minister celebrated for leading Britain to World War II victory, had a history of making racist remarks and is criticised for his role in the partition of India.
The targeting of Churchill's memorial led to a backlash, luring crowds to protect and clean the monument.
Speaking last June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country - and the whole of Europe - from a fascist and racist tyranny.
"It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should ... be at risk of attack by violent protestors.
"Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial."