Boris Johnson explained he doesn’t want the public to be forced to take the knee by protesters. The Prime Minister highlighted that it would be difficult for police officers to do so after being verbally and physically attacked by Black Lives Matter protesters. Mr Johnson suggested he wouldn’t take the knee out of fear it would make another person’s life difficult.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Mr Johnson said: “I don’t believe in gestures, I believe in substance. I believe in doing things.
“If you look at what this Government has done over the last few years, when I was running this city, I massively increased black and minority representation in the Metropolitan Police.
“I want to see that happen across the country.
“What we’ve seen in the last 10 years is young black kids doing the toughest subjects in school, we’ve seen more young black kids going to the best universities in this country and that’s what I want to see.”
Boris Johnson was grilled over whether he would take the knee
Nick Ferrari pressed Mr Johnson for an answer as to whether he would take the knee
Mr Ferrari pressed the Prime Minister for an answer on whether he would take the knee.
He added: “I don’t want people to be bullied into doing things that they don’t necessarily want to do at any given moment.
“If you think what happened with those police officers standing at the Cenotaph, they were being insulted in quite aggressive terms by some members of the crowd and being told to take the knee.
“Some of them did and it was very difficult then for the others who didn’t.
Boris Johnson explained he doesn’t want the public to be forced to take the knee by protesters
“I think it’s very important that you don’t do things that make life difficult or embarrassing for others.”
His comment come as Dominic Raab sparked backlash after saying he would only “take a knee” for the Queen when asked if he would take part in the symbolic gesture.
He was torn apart on Twitter after saying he would only take a knee for the Queen. It comes as the death in Minneapolis of a black man, George Floyd, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes has sparked protests around the world, with many demonstrators kneeling in streets and squares to protest against racism.
The position was first taken by National Football League player Colin Kaepernick during the playing of the US national anthem to call attention to racial injustice, and has been adopted by many sports players since.
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Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Raab said: “I understand this sense of frustration and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’ve got to say on this ‘taking the knee’ thing, which I don’t know, maybe it’s got a broader history but it seems to be taken from the Game of Thrones.
“It feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation.
“But I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice.”