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Black Lives Matter: Education minister says he would take the knee, after Dominic Raab ruled it out

Tory MP Nick Gibb to make anti-racism gesture 'in the right circumstances'

Kate Ng
Friday 19 June 2020 11:19 BST
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan listens to schools minister Nick Gibb in the Commons yesterday
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan listens to schools minister Nick Gibb in the Commons yesterday

An education minister has said he would take the knee as a gesture of anti-racism “in the right circumstances”, after Dominic Raab said he would not do it in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nick Gibb, Tory MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, told BBC’s Today programme he would “of course” take the knee, but that his focus was on “making sure we address the injustices and the subject of these campaigns”.

His comments follow the foreign secretary’s argument on Thursday that he would only take the knee for “the Queen and the missus when when I asked her to marry me”.

Mr Raab went on to explain that the symbolic show of support was “a matter of personal choice” and felt to him “like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation”.

He also said the gesture appeared to have been taken from Game of Thrones. However, the act began in 2016 as a protest by US athletes who knelt on one knee during the US national anthem to highlight racism and police brutality.

Mr Gibb said on Friday: “It’s wonderful we have a country where you can protest, you can make your thoughts and views clear, where we are a tolerant and open society [that’s] been built on, over the centuries, waves of immigrants from around the world and that’s why our culture in this country is so vibrant and welcoming.

“Black children are doing better than ever in our schools, there are more young people from black communities going to our universities – it’s risen from 44 per cent to something like 59 per cent. So this is absolutely a key part of our education agenda and it’s also part of the government’s agenda,” he added.

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