Boris Johnson slammed for lighting a candle for coronavirus victims after saying he doesn't 'believe in gestures'

James Besanvalle
Saturday 04 July 2020 11:15
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Downing Street will light a candle on Saturday evening in honour of the thousands of people who’ve died as a result of coronavirus in the UK, according to reports.

The announcement was made just hours after Boris Johnson refused to “take the knee” as a sign of respect to the Black Lives Matter movement because he doesn’t “do gestures”.

The PM told LBC on Friday:

I don't believe in gestures. I believe in substance. I believe in doing things that make a practical difference.

Then, just hours later, it was revealed Number 10 Downing Street would be lighting a candle at 9pm through the window in remembrance for the nationwide coronavirus victims.

The residence of the Prime Minister will also reportedly be lit up in blue as a tribute – or gesture of solidarity, if you will – to NHS workers and to mark the health service’s 72nd birthday.

Cue the outrage over what many perceived as a contradiction:

According to the government, 44,131 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, but ONS figures push this number closer to 54,000 people.

On Friday, Sir Keir Starmer called out the empty act of clapping for the NHS but not implementing pay rises for staff:

A group of unions representing 1.3 million NHS workers joined calls on Friday for a pay rise.

Want to see all of the MPs who voted against giving nurses a pay rise in 2017? Here's our comprehensive list.

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