Priti Patel denies rapper’s claim that Boris Johnson is a ‘real racist’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 19 February 2020

A row has broken out after rapper Dave's BRIT awards performance. Photographs: PA/TNE.

A row has broken out after rapper Dave's BRIT awards performance. Photographs: PA/TNE.

Archant

The home secretary has scrambled to Boris Johnson’s defence after rapper Dave accused the prime minister of being a ‘real racist’ during a politically charged performance at the BRITs.

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Dave with his Mastercard Album of the Year award on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 at the O2 Arena, London. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire.Dave with his Mastercard Album of the Year award on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 at the O2 Arena, London. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire.

The British star performed his song Black at the ceremony at the O2 Arena in London, but added new verses at the end.

He rapped: "It is racist whether or not it feels racist/The truth is our prime minister's a real racist."

He insisted that "equality is a right, it doesn't deserve credit".

Commenting on the treatment of Meghan, he said: "Now if you don't want to get it then you are never gonna get it/How the news treats Kate versus how they treated Meghan."

Dave also paid tribute to London Bridge attack victim Jack Merritt, who he called "my brother in arms".

"There's tears in our eyes and love in our hearts," he said,

"We never had the same background, culture, colour or class but you devoted your life to giving others a chance/And for that I'm so taken aback because you gave us all a voice."

After calling for "way less hatred, more conservation, less deforestation", Dave said that "Grenfell victims still need accommodation and we still need support for the Windrush generation".

Finishing up, he called for "reparations for the time our people spent on plantations".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to endorse the message, tweeting the lyrics to his 2.3 million followers.

Asked about rapper Dave's Brits performance, Diane Abbott said she had an early night and did not watch it, but added: "I think that what Dave said about Boris (Johnson) clearly resonated with people, particularly after this incident in the past few days where Number 10 brought in a policy adviser who thought that black people were inferior intellectually to white people.

"I think Boris has a lot to do to convince the community that he's not unduly negative about black people and Muslim people."

But home secretary Priti Patel told BBC Breakfast she did not see rapper Dave's performance, adding: "I simply do not subscribe to those comments at all.

"I know the prime minister. I've worked with the prime minister for a long time, for many years. He's absolutely not a racist and I'm afraid that is very much a generalisation that has been made by rapper Dave, and I just disagree with it.

"I don't know how much he knows about the prime minister and whether he actually has met the prime minister or knows the prime minister. I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it's the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister."

Patel was speaking as she explained her new immigration system. She has claimed that it is "right" that people coming to the United Kingdom speak English.

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