George Floyd protests: Tory MP replies to constituent asking him to condemn Trump's actions, 'Arsonists and looters have it coming'

Constituent asked Tory MP to support Black Lives Matter movement

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 03 June 2020 14:17
Hundreds join London protest against George Floyd death

A Conservative MP has replied to a constituent asking him to condemn Donald Trump’s response to demonstrations that have spread across the United States, saying: “Arsonists and looters have it coming”.

The remarks from Desmond Swayne comes as the US president again risked inflaming tensions as protesters marked a ninth consecutive day of action demanding justice for George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for over eight minutes.

In his latest incendiary posts on social media, Mr Trump urged the New York mayor to request the National Guard to intervene, claiming: “NYC is totally out of control.”

In an email to the Tory MP, for New Forest West, a constituent asked him to “condemn Trump’s use of force against his own citizens” and support Black Lives Matter – a movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people – and urge the UK government to take action.

The correspondence, seen by The Independent, went on: “I am sure you have been troubled as I have with the news and activities coming from the US amidst the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe.”

It also requested support for the MP to support the immediate suspension of UK sales of tear gas, riot shields and rubber bullets to the US amid fears they are being used against civil rights protesters.

The reply from the MP – posted on Twitter – read: “Thanks. Sorry to disagree. Arsonists and looters have it coming.”

In response to a second email from another New Forest West constituent, also requesting condemnation of Mr Trump’s actions, the MP added: “Racism is a cancer, and I’m glad the perpetrator is on a murder charge. Nevertheless, looters, arsonists and rioters have it coming.”

Posting on social media, Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, said: “Sorry to see the complete lack of thought and care.”

A second Labour MP Florence Eshalomi added: “Wow – what a response to a legitimate question from a constituent. I’m sorry your MP doesn’t seem to be able to show solidarity towards condemning racism and injustice with the local and national black community.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Swayne’s office for comment.

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