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UK Labour leader calls Black Lives Matter demands to defund the police 'nonsense'

The leader of the UK's opposition party has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement for their calls to defund the police in a BBC interview today.

Nico Johnson Montreal, QC
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The leader of the United Kingdom's opposition party has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement for their calls to defund the police in a BBC interview today.

It's "nonsense," said the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. "Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police. I would have no truck with that."

"I was director of public prosecutions for five years, I worked with police forces across England and Wales, bringing thousands of people to court. My support for the police is very strong."

Starmer, who previously took a knee in support of the movement, is distancing himself from the movement after they became "tangled up with these organisational issues."

As well as this, Black Lives Matter UK posted a statement on their twitter that made use of an anti-Semitic trope, saying that "politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism and Israel's settler colonial pursuits."

The Labour leader has taken a tough stance on allegations of anti-Semitism within his party, demoting his shadow education minister after they retweeted an article which accused the Israeli police force of training American police officers.

Starmer continued by saying that "there's a broader issue here: the Black Lives Matter movement, or moment if you like, internationally is about reflecting something completely different."

"It's a shame it's getting tangled up with these organisational issues," he concluded.

Labour supporters, at least on Twitter, have seen this as another attack by Starmer on the left-wing of the party who enjoyed power under the previous leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"Sir Keir Starmer's comments on Black Lives Matter were far more racially insensitive than Rebecca Long-Bailey calling Maxine Peake an absolute diamond," said one prominent Labour supporter.

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