Keir Starmer has declared that the call from Black Lives Matter to ‘defund the police’ is “nonsense”, and said it is a shame that the international movement is “getting tangled up with these organisational issues”.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast this morning, the Labour leader said that his “support for the police is very, very strong” – highlighting his time as Director of Public Prosecutions.
On the call to defund the police, Starmer argued: “That’s nonsense and nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police, and I would have no truck with that – I was the Director of Public Prosecutions for five years.
“I worked with police forces across England and Wales bringing thousands of people to court. So my support for the police is very, very strong and evidenced in the joint actions I’ve done with the police.”
He added that Black Lives Matter is “about reflecting something completely different and it’s reflecting on what happened dreadfully in America just a few weeks ago, and showing or acknowledging that as a moment across the world”.
The Labour leader described it as a “moment”, rather than a movement, which has led Unite the Union assistant general secretary Howard Beckett to slam the comments as “appalling”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tells #BBCBreakfast it’s "a shame" the sentiment behind the Black Lives Matter movement is getting “tangled up with these organisational issues" and it’s "nonsense" to call to ‘Defund the Police’. pic.twitter.com/7ydITWGZWN
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) June 29, 2020