"Last summer was quite a moment with all the protests"
Home Secretary Priti Patel has described the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests as “dreadful” and she also said that she was against taking the knee.
The demonstrations were sparked by the death of George Floyd while in the custody of police in Minneapolis.
People were outraged as a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, causing his death.
As a result, protests took place across the United States, with demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
Demonstrations also happened in the UK in more than 260 cities and towns during June and July 2020.
Statues of slave traders were toppled and a memorial to Sir Winston Churchill in central London was vandalised with the words “is a racist”.
Since the protests, there has been a public reckoning with Britain’s slavery and colonial past.
However, during a radio interview with LBC, Ms Patel said she did not support the protests.
She said: “Last summer was quite a moment with all the protests that we saw taking place.
“We saw policing as well coming under a great deal of pressure from some of the protest.
“I don’t support the protest and I also did not support the protests that were associated…”
Challenged over her stance, Ms Patel sought to clarify that she was not criticising the right to protest but the BLM demonstrations in 2020.
When asked if she would take the knee, Ms Patel replied:
“No I wouldn’t, and I would not have done at the time either.”
She added: “There are other ways in which people can express their opinions, protesting in the way that people did last summer was not the right way at all.
“I didn’t support the protests. Those protests were dreadful.”
— LBC (@LBC) February 12, 2021
Her comments did not sit well with netizens, with many calling her “racist” and “dreadful”.
Priti Patel’s comments came after the Commons leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg, accused the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, of overseeing “loony leftwing wheezes”.
This followed the creation of a landmark commission to improve diversity in London’s public spaces.
Mr Khan announced he would be forming the commission days after the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader was pulled down in Bristol.
The London mayor’s office said the commission for diversity in the public realm will review what makes up London’s public realm, discuss what legacies should be celebrated, and make several recommendations that will help establish best practice.
It added that the commission is not being established to supervise the removal of statues.