Labour leadership show support for Black Lives Matter protesters as Boris Johnson ignores George Floyd silence

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter protesters. Photograph

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter protesters. Photograph: Twitter. - Credit: Archant

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner have been photographed kneeling in solidarity with anti-racism protesters, as a Downing Street spokesperson admitted cabinet ignored a silence organised by MPs.

Posting the image on Twitter, Sir Keir wrote: 'We kneel with all those opposing anti-Black racism. #BlackLivesMatter.'

The mark of solidarity with the anti-racism movement, on the day of George Floyd's funeral, was also observed by a group of female MPs - including Labour's Dawn Butler.

Parliament came to a halt at 11am yesterday for a minute's silence in memory of Floyd, with Starmer addressing the murder afterwards.

He tweeted: 'Today, at 11am, parliament held a minute's silence in memory of George Floyd.

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'He must not become just another name. His death must be a catalyst for change.

'The Labour Party stands with those opposing racism and oppression in the UK and across the world.'

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By contrast, a Downing Street spokesperson revealed that Boris Johnson and the cabinet did not take part in the silence.

A spokesperson told The Sun: 'The PM began cabinet by discussing the anger and the grief that is not just felt in the US but around the world including the UK following the death of George Floyd.

'He said those who lead and govern simply cannot ignore the depth of emotion that has been triggered.

'The PM said there was an undeniable feeling of injustice and that people from black and minority ethnic groups do face discrimination in education, in employment and in the application of criminal law.

They added: 'The PM said we're a much, much less racist society than we were but we must also frankly acknowledge that there's so much more to do in eradicating prejudice and creating opportunity.'

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