Conservative MP says Black Lives Matter movement is 'divisive'

'When you start to push everyone to identify themselves by the colour of their skin, that is not a good thing,' says Ben Bradley

Dominic Raab doubles down on refusal to take a knee citing 'feudal connotations'

A Conservative MP has described Black Lives Matter movement as "divisive" and said "most people don't naturally see skin colour as a defining characteristic".

Ben Bradley said he had written to the Premier League to complain about the decision to put the logo on the back of footballers' shirts in support of racial equality following mass protests over the the death of George Floyd.

All Premier League clubs replaced footballers' names with the slogan during the first round of fixtures, with players and officials taking the knee to show their support for the cause.

In a piece on his website, the Mansfield MP said he understood clubs were trying to take a stance against racism, which was supported by the vast majority of the public.

However Mr Bradley added: "The point I made though is that whilst what they are trying to achieve is very positive and laudable, what they will actually achieve by choosing to support 'Black Lives Matter' is to increase and further entrench division.

"When you start to push everyone to identify themselves by the colour of their skin, that is not a good thing!

"When you start to single out characteristics that divide you from others, you create an equal and opposite reaction.

"A rise of the far left will create a reactive rise of the far right, and the whole debate is then characterised by those extremes rather than understanding the vast majority of normal people caught in the middle.

"Most of whom in my experience support a strong stance against racism, but don't support the divisive politics that comes with this campaign.

"Most people don't naturally see skin colour as a defining characteristic."

Mr Bradley also argued that phrases like "All Lives Matter" and "White Lives Matter" should not be regarded as racist, adding: "Many people will question why it's ok to say Black Lives Matter, but White Lives Matter is something to be ashamed of

However he said the "White Lives Matter" banner flown over Burnley stadium on Monday was "deeply unhelpful".

The club said it strongly condemned the "offensive" banner and those responsible were not welcome at its ground.

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