A Conservative MP called on his Conservative colleagues to change their attitude towards people who kneel in protest against racism.
Steve Baker’s comments, first reported by The Guardian, come after members of the England squad received racist insults following their defeat in the Euro 2020 final.
“This may be a decisive moment for our party,” wrote the former minister in a message to the deputies of the Conservatives group against racism, for equality.
âWhile we cannot be associated with appeals for police funding, we urgently need to question our own attitude towards people who kneel down.
“I fear we risk twisting our own hearts for those who suffer injustice.”
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all suffered racist abuse after missing shots on goal in Sunday’s penalty shootout loss to Italy at Wembley.
Boris Johnson and Priti Patel both condemned the abuse, with the Prime Minister discussing the issue of online abuse with internet companies on Tuesday in Downing Street.
But the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have been accused by critics of hypocrisy given some of their previous comments on the kneeling issue.
The protest began in the US in 2016 and became a pre-game feature of UK football matches last year amid the global Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a white policeman in Minnesota.
Some have voiced opposition to the players kneeling, arguing it shows support for the political goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, but England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted the team taking the knee won’t was not a political move.
Ms Patel called the move a “policy of gestures” last month and said England fans had a “choice” of whether or not to boo the players when they protested.
Ahead of the tournament, the Prime Minister told England fans not to boo footballers who kneel down. But it came after he had previously failed to criticize supporters who mocked the racial injustice protest.
England team member defender Tyrone Mings directly contested Ms. Patel about his remark on the “politics of gestures” on Monday, saying: “You can’t stoke the fire at the start of the tournament by calling our anti-racist message a” politics of gestures “and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we do. let’s campaign against, come on. “
Former Defense Minister Tory MP Johnny Mercer said of Mings’ tweet: âThe painful truth is, this guy is absolutely right.
“Very uncomfortable with the position we conservatives needlessly force ourselves into. Should I fight it or remain silent? Modern conservatism has always been so much more to me. We must not get lost.”
Speaking to Sky News earlier, Dawn Butler of Labor accused the government of “deliberately” embarking on a path “of stirring up hatred and division” within society.
The member for Brent Central said: “This government has been the most confrontational government I have ever seen in my life, they deliberately stirred up a culture war, they said they were waging this war upon awakening.
“Woke is to be considerate of others, that is what woke means and this government has deliberately set out on a path of hatred and division in our society.”
She noted that she was optimistic about the future after seeing “more positive anti-racists in society than there are racists” but it is “not led by this government”, criticizing ministers as “part of the problem”.
Ms Butler also accused the Home Secretary of using racist language to stir up division.
She said: “When we call out the searing injustices, what does the government do? Produce a race report that says there is no such thing as racism.
âIt’s not just what you say, it’s what you do and it’s how you treat people.
âNow the Home Secretary has taken draconian measures for draconian laws and the way she talks about migrants and immigrants is racist. It is racist language that is used to stoke division, so it doesn’t is not just at the moment. We have to see some real action. “
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said Mr Johnson reiterated his condemnation of racist abuse against England players at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
“He said the abuse was utter shame and had emerged from the dark spaces of the Internet,” the spokesperson said.
He said he would use today’s meeting with social media companies to reiterate the urgent need for action, ahead of the entry into force of tougher laws through the Injury Bill. line.
“He added that there is no doubt that this kind of abuse is extremely upsetting, unfair and must be eradicated.”
The spokesperson also defended Ms Patel, saying: “The Home Secretary has been clear there is no room for racism in our country and that is why she is supporting the police to hold them to account. to those responsible.
“As I explained yesterday, the Prime Minister called on the nation to support and support the players, to applaud and not to boo, before England have played a match in the tournament.
“The Home Secretary works every day to crack down on hate crimes, racism and violence.
“There is no room for racism in this country and she supports the police in holding those responsible to account.”