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George Floyd death should ‘shine a light’ on UK’s own problems with racism, says Labour Leader

The racism towards the Black community in the United Sates is not “a unique phenomenon”, says Labour leader Keir Starmer towards his staff, as Black Lives Matters protests took place across the UK.

In a joint message with his deputy leader Angela Rayner, Starmer mentioned Labour’s leadership is “shocked and angered” by the death of George Floyd, a US citizen who was murdered after being restrained by a police officer.

Starmer argued that the rise of protests in America in light of Mr Floyd’s death, had “shone a light on the racism and hatred experienced by many across the world, including in our own country”.

This week Boris Johnson said he was “appalled and sickened to see what happened” to Mr Floyd. In his first direct message to US President Donald Trump, who ordered the National Guard to meet protesters as cities imposed curfews, the Prime Minister said “racism and racist violence has no place in our society”. 

"We are appalled by the response of President Trump and the failure of our own government to condemn his actions in the wake of George Floyd’s killing," added Starmer and Rayner.

The leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party made it clear the UK has its own lessons to learn on the treatment of black people. They said, “The death of George Floyd has yet again shone a light on the racism and hatred experienced by many across the world, including in our own country - but particularly the racism experienced by Black people across the world.

“Now is not the time to treat racism and its consequences in the United States as a unique phenomenon."

The pair acknowledged that events in the US will be "particularly difficult and distressing for our Black colleagues”, who will be “sadly acutely aware of some of the issues raised by the George Floyd killing through their own lived experience here in the UK”.

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner expressed that their Black colleagues can come to them for support during this time, adding “We are your allies in this fight.”


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