Boris Johnson condemns 'inexcusable' death of George Floyd

Boris Johnson condemns 'inexcusable' death of George Floyd

June 3, 2020

Boris Johnson says ‘black lives matter’ as he condemns ‘inexcusable’ death of George Floyd and says people have a ‘right’ to protest lawfully – but refuses to criticise Donald Trump’s response

  • Boris Johnson has spoken out over the ‘appalling’ death of George Floyd in US 
  • Protests around the world after footage of police officer standing on his neck
  • PM dodged people had ‘right’ to protest but dodged criticising Trump response 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Boris Johnson insisted ‘black lives matter’ today as he condemned the ‘inexcusable’ death of George Floyd – but refused to criticise Donald Trump’s response.

Mr Johnson added his voice to condemnation as he was asked at PMQs about the wave of furious protests across the US, which have spread around the world.

Footage has emerged of a police officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck while he pleaded that he could not breathe. 

Mr Johnson told MPs people had a ‘right’ to demonstrate, but dodged questions over the President’s crackdown and warning that ‘looting means shooting’.

Pressed by Labour’s Keir Starmer over whether he would pass on to Mr Trump the ‘UK’s abhorrence about his response to the events’, Mr Johnson said: ‘I think what happened in the United States was appalling, it was inexcusable.

‘We all saw it on our screens and I perfectly understand people’s right to protest what took place. Though obviously I also believe that protest should take place in a lawful and reasonable way.’ 

Boris Johnson added his voice to condemnation of the George Floyd death as he was asked at PMQs about the wave of furious protests across the US, which have spread around the world

Protesters in Hyde Park today as anger continues to be voiced around the world


George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

Challenged again by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford later, Mr Johnson said: ‘Of course black lives matter.’

But he said protests should be lawful and added that in the UK social distancing must be obeyed. 

Matt Hancock insisted he ‘shared the anger about racial injustice felt around the world’ last night as he denied delaying a report on the heightened BAME risk from coronavirus.

Denying that the government tried to hold off publication of an official inquiry into high BAME deaths rates to avoid inflaming tensions, Mr Hancock told the daily Downing Street briefing the findings were ‘timely’.  

‘This is a particularly timely publication, because right across the world, people are angry about racial injustice,’ he said. ‘And I get that. Black lives matter.’   

There have been wave of protests around the world – including in London (pictured) – over the death of George Floyd

A looted souvenir shop in Manhattan yesterday morning after another night of violence 

There were some arrests at protests in London on Monday as racial tensions run high

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