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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Boris Johnson 'does not agree' that the UK is a racist country

The Prime Minister also condemned what he described as “thuggery” during Black Lives Matters protests at the weekend.

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons (file photo)
Boris Johnson in the House of Commons (file photo)
Image: PA

BORIS JOHNSON DOES not believe the UK is a racist country – but acknowledges that discrimination is an ongoing problem, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Government was not complacent about the need to do more to tackle racism.

The spokesman said: “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.”

Johnson has condemned the “thuggery” which marred anti-racism protests triggered by the death of George Floyd.

Scotland Yard said 36 people had been arrested during protests in London on Sunday, and 35 officers reported suffering injuries.

In Bristol, protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into the city’s harbour. Johnson’s spokesman hit out at the incident.

“People can campaign for the removal of a statue, but what happened yesterday was a criminal act and when the criminal law is broken that is unacceptable and the police will want to hold to account those responsible,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was “completely wrong” for the statue to be removed in that way, but told LBC Radio the monument to a slaver should have been taken down long before.

Johnson received an update from Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick on Sunday night.

“They have our full support in tackling any violence, vandalism and disorderly behaviour,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“It is completely unacceptable they were subjected to attacks over the weekend.”

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