Great Britain

Matt Hancock begs Brits not to attend Black Lives Matter protests of more than six people

MATT Hancock has begged Brits not to attend Black Lives Matter protests of more than six people.

The Health Secretary urged people to stay away from mass demonstrations as they are a breach of coronavirus lockdown rules.

Huge crowds attended a rally in Hyde Park this week to protest against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd after he was arrested by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.

But Mr Hancock reminded the public today that Britain is still fighting the covid-19 crisis and it is “vital” we stick to the rules.

He told the No10 briefing: "Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.

Please for the safety of your loved ones do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people.

Matt Hancock

"The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.

"So please for the safety of your loved ones do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people."

Black Lives Matter protests have taken places across Britain with thousands meeting in London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast this week.

MASS PROTESTS

This weekend there are set to be further mass demonstrations in the capital with "peaceful protests against police brutality in the UK and US" in Parliament Square on Saturday.

On Sunday there will be another rally outside the US Embassy calling for "justice for the multiple black people who have been killed and harmed by the police."

As thousands marched on the capital for a peaceful protest this week, Star Wars star John Boyega made an impassioned speech to the crowd in Hyde Park, which also included ex-One Direction Star Liam Payne.

The overwhelming majority of protesters remained peaceful throughout the day, but as the day wore on, scuffles broke out near Downing Street and outside the Foreign Office, with some of the crowd shouting 'f*** Boris, f*** Trump'.

POLICE CLASHES

The Met Police confirmed 13 people were arrested following the disturbances near the PM's London residence.

And during the evening, police in riot gear were called to Westminster after clashes broke out near to the Foreign Office and barriers were launched towards No10.

Footage from the scuffles near No10 shows objects including signs and a traffic cone being thrown at police while one protester is wrestled to the ground and restrained by officers.

It comes as police forces in the UK yesterday issued a joint statement slamming Floyd's killing.

They said they "stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified" by the 46-year-old's death.

The chief constables, the chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, the chief executive of the College of Policing and the president of the Police Superintendents' Association said: "We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life.

"Justice and accountability should follow."


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