Thank you to the hundreds of constituents from across our communities in Garston and Halewood who have been in touch with me about the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Mr Floyd’s murder was a racist, reprehensible and inexcusable act, for which there is no place in a decent and civilised society.
It has surprised no-one that President Trump’s response to the crisis has been divisive and incendiary. Most protests across the USA have been peaceful, and the police response has been chaotic, heavy-handed and disproportionate. The Government must suspend the selling of riot control equipment, such as rubber bullets and tear gas, to the United States. At Prime Minister’s Questions, Keir Starmer was right to call on Boris Johnson to convey to President Trump the abhorrence felt across the UK at the President’s handling of events.
Unfortunately, this is not to say that the USA is exceptional. This week, the marginalisation and neglect suffered by minority communities was laid bare by the release of a Public Health England report confirming that racial inequalities in the UK amplify the risks of Coronavirus. In an Urgent Question in the House of Commons today, I raised this issue with the Equalities Minister and called on the Government to tackle the inequalities that the report has highlighted. The Government has been silent on the action needed to help the communities most at risk from the virus.
Black Lives Matter and the Government needs to do more for BAME communities in the UK and speak out against racially motivated violence both here and across the world.