George Floyd - Black Lives Matter - 04/06/2020

Many of us will have seen for ourselves the horrific video of the treatment that led to the tragic death of George Floyd.  Justice must be done and it is right that the officers involved have been charged with his murder.  Racism is a stain on any civilised society.  We must also protect the right to peaceful protest which is an essential part of a free and democratic country.  At the same time we must make equally clear that violent and lawless protest will not be tolerated.  It was a great pity, for example, that peaceful protestors in London were disrupted by a minority of violent offenders.  As I said in the House of Commons this morning, during the Equalities Urgent Question on the review by Public Health England about Covid19 morbidity and mortality, “all lives matter and all lives matter equally”.  That can be the only basis for an ethical, fair and equitable society.