Boris Johnson failed leadership test over taking the knee, says Keir Starmer

2 months ago 16

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionEngland players person 'taken the knee' during the Euros tourney arsenic portion of a protestation against racism

Boris Johnson "failed the trial of leadership" by failing to condemn fans who booed England players taking the knee, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

At the commencement of the Euro tournament, Boris Johnson stopped abbreviated of condemning fans booing players who took portion successful the anti-racism protest.

Mr Johnson said helium wanted supporters to beryllium "cheering and not booing".

But, the Labour person said the "inactions of leaders person consequences".

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were all targets for online racist abuse pursuing England's decision to Italy successful the Euros last connected Sunday evening.

The premier curate called the maltreatment "appalling" adding: "This England squad merit to beryllium lauded arsenic heroes, not racially abused connected societal media."

His comments were echoed by Sir Keir who said the maltreatment was "absolutely appalling".

However the Labour person besides aimed his disapproval towards the premier curate who, helium said had "failed the trial of enactment due to the fact that immoderate helium says contiguous astir racism helium had a elemental prime astatine the opening of this tourney successful narration to the booing of those who were taking the knee.

"The premier curate failed to telephone that retired and the actions and inactions of leaders person consequences, truthful I'm acrophobic the premier minister's words contiguous ringing hollow."

The enactment of taking the genu has go a salient awesome successful athletics and during anti-racist protests successful caller years, and England players person been adopting the stance astatine the commencement of their matches.

Speaking to GB News astir the England players' protestation successful June, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she didn't enactment "people participating successful that benignant of motion politics".

Asked if she would criticise fans who booed England players taking the genu she said: "That's a prime for them, rather frankly".

Tweeting connected the greeting aft the final, Labour's lawman person Angela Rayner accused some Mr Johnson and Ms Patel of giving "racists license" and compared them to "arsonists complaining astir a occurrence they poured petrol on".

The location caput was besides attacked by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi - a erstwhile Conservative curate - who said: "If we 'whistle' and the 'dog' reacts we can't beryllium shocked if it barks and bites. It's clip to halt the civilization wars that are feeding part canine whistles triumph votes but destruct nations."

However different Conservative MP Fay Jones told the BBC she supported players trying to combat racism but added that taking the genu "is a governmental awesome and I deliberation that's the occupation that definite radical person had with it."

Meanwhile different Conservative Natalie Elphicke has apologised for suggesting Marcus Rashford should person spent much clip focusing connected shot than "playing politics", aft helium missed a penalty.

image copyrightPA Media

image captionBukayo Saka has been among the players to person racist maltreatment online

The maltreatment received successful the aftermath of the lucifer has besides raised questions astir the relation of societal media companies.

Health curate Edward Argar told Sky News the government's Online Safety Bill would "strengthen however net and societal media platforms behave and their responsibilities to instrumentality enactment against this benignant of behaviour".

The Football Association person besides urged societal media companies to prohibition abusers from their platforms, arsenic good arsenic gathering grounds to marque prosecutions easier.

In a statement, Facebook said it had "quickly removed comments and accounts directing maltreatment astatine England's footballers".

"In summation to our enactment to region this content, we promote each players to crook connected Hidden Words, a instrumentality which means nary 1 has to spot maltreatment successful their comments oregon DMs,"

"No 1 happening volition hole this situation overnight, but we're committed to keeping our assemblage harmless from abuse."

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