Priti Patel’s “disgusting” comments about the Black Lives Matter protests have sparked a furious backlash.

The Home Secretary described the BLM protests that swept the globe in the wake of George Floyd’s murder as “dreadful” and said she wouldn’t take a knee to support the cause.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, she said:

“I did not support the protests … those protests were dreadful.”

Asked whether she would take a knee, as some sports people have done in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the BLM movement more widely, she said “I would not; I would not have at the time, either. There are other ways in which people can express their opinions”.

Patel went on to describe actions like the pulling down statues and changing street names as attempting to “rewrite history” and described the protests as a “moment” – something for which Keir Starmer was heavily criticised at the time.

Patel’s comments were described as “disgusting”.

Her hypocrisy was also pointed out.

If the ‘problem’ with protesting is, as she claimed, the strain it puts on police – what possible problem could there be with taking a knee?

Not everyone was surprised by Patel’s comments.

The Tories have never shied away from involvement in the so-called ‘culture war’.

Despite the predictability of Patel’s comments, though, it’ll always be jarring to hear a government disparage protesting – especially when it’s for a cause like anti-racism.

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