In response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, Boris Johnson has boldly claimed that the UK is 'not racist.'

In a video shared on Twitter, the prime minister spoke of the emotions and anger that have resonated since the footage of George Floyd's death at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis went viral.

He added that he believed that society was "much, much less racist than it was" but that there was still a lot more to do on tackling issues of injustice and inequality.

Johnson complimented those who took part in the peaceful part of the protests and observed social distancing but was quick to condemn those that didn't and engaged in acts of violence and vandalism, which he had referred to as 'thuggery.'

This statement was longer and slightly different to the one that was given to the press by a Downing Street spokesperson on Monday afternoon, which claimed that Johnson didn't believe that the UK was a racist country.

The PM doesn’t doubt that there continues to be discrimination and racism, but does not agree that this is a racist country. We have made very significant progress on this issue, but there remains more to do and we will not be complacent in our efforts to stamp out racism and discrimination where it happens.

As you can probably guess the response to this statement has not been greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm with many people sharing examples of racism that they have experienced or been reported in the UK in recent years including from the prime minister himself.

Soon #ToryRacism was trending on Twitter with many pointing towards the Windrush scandal, Brexit and the lack of diversity in Tory HQ.

Labour's Dawn Butler had also released a video on Sunday detailing how systematic racism still existed in the UK.

The home secretary, Priti Patel has also apologised to those people affected by the Windrush scandal, which was presented in the BBC drama Sitting in Limbo which aired last night.

However, many felt that she needed to do a lot more than simply apologise.

It's safe to say that whatever the prime minister has said that the UK still has an overwhelming problem with racism.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)