BLM activists DEFY Boris Johnson's calls to abandon protests
BLM protesters defy Boris Johnson in their THOUSANDS as they march on Hyde Park, outside Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square while police move in and pick out suspects after last week’s rally descended into violence
- Police officers were booed as they moved in to detain two of the protesters in Hyde Park this afternoon
- Statues and war memorials have been boarded up to prevent any vandalism or damage from protesters
- The monument of Britain’s war-time leader was covered in graffiti saying ‘Churchill was a racist’ last weekend
- It comes amid fears of a clash between Black Lives Matters activists and far-right thugs in the capital city
- The protests has ignited a discussion about Britain’s imperial past and figures associated with slavery
Thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters turned out in London today despite Boris Johnson’s calls to abandon demonstrations.
Police officers were booed as they moved in to detain two of the protesters in Hyde Park after activists defied the Prime Minister’s instructions.
Around 20 officers moved through large crowds of peaceful protesters sitting on the grass to seize a pair of demonstrators and escort them to nearby police vans.
The BLM protest, which had been brought forward to today to avoid clashes with right wing activists, began at Hyde Park this afternoon at 2pm and is due to head to Parliament later today.
Statues and war memorials in Westminster have been boarded up to prevent any vandalism or damage from protesters.
It comes despite the Prime Minister warning a ‘growing minority’ of ‘extremists’ have hijacked the BLM cause and are again planning to launch ‘deliberate and calculated violence’.
Thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters turned out in London today despite Boris Johnson’s calls to abandon demonstrations
Around 20 officers moved through large crowds of peaceful protesters sitting on the grass to seize a demonstrator today and escort him to nearby police vans
People wearing masks and holding signs participate in a Black Lives Matter protest march in Park Lane, London earlier today
Activists, some wearing face coverings or face masks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, hold placards as they attend a Black Lives Matter protest march as it passes in front of Buckingham Palace today
Campaigners march down London’s Park Line today, some holding skateboards marked with BLM (Black Lives Matter)
Activists held up signs as they protested in the capital today in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month
Demonstrators hold signs as they march during a Black Lives Matter protest in London, following the death of George Floyd
A man shouts into a megaphone today during the latest Black Lives Matter protest in London in response to the death of George Floyd
A Black Lives Matter supporter wearing a face mask and face shield raises his fist during a sit down gathering in London today
A Black Lives Matter speaker talks to crowds near Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park where a sit down gathering was held today
Demonstrators gesture during a Black Lives Matter protest in London today, following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis
An officer at the scene in Hyde Park said the man being detained was wanted by police for an alleged offence committed a few days ago.
The presence of the Metropolitan Police sparked anger in the 500-strong crowd, some of whom yelled obscenities at the officers.
Some of those sat down listening to speeches in Hyde Park got up to surround the police but were ordered back by one of the protest organisers speaking on a microphone.
The Prime Minister said earlier the Met Police have made ‘hundreds’ of arrests following attacks on officers, buildings and statues in the past ten days as Scotland Yard vowed to go on ‘the front foot’ to tackle violent protesters after Home Secretary Priti Patel read them the ‘riot act’ over their tactics.
In a stark warning amid concerns London could be engulfed by a summer of riots, Mr Johnson said: ‘We should not support a protest, which in all probability looking at what has happened before, is going to end in deliberate and calculated violence.
He said a ‘growing minority’ of troublemakers had ‘hijacked’ the BLM protests ‘as a pretext to attack the police, to cause violence and to cause damage to public property’.
He said: ‘I saw the police this morning and they have already made hundreds of arrests in the last few days and will make many more. Because believe me they can see the culprits – they may think they’ve got away with it but they haven’t because overwhelmingly they are being recorded and we will bring them to justice.
‘And they will face the full force of the law because it is not acceptable in this country to attack a police officer. It is not acceptable to set out in a calculated way to do damage to public property, let alone a statue of Winston Churchill’.
It came after he blasted ‘absurd and shameful’ attacks on the statue of Sir Winston and said the UK ‘cannot lie about its history’ as Sadiq Khan was accused of ‘surrendering’ the capital’s streets ‘to the mob’ after he ordered the boarding up of the monument to Britain’s greatest prime minister and the nearby Cenotaph. This afternoon statues of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are expected to be boarded up while Abraham Lincoln has been fenced off.
In an extraordinary Twitter outburst this morning, Mr Johnson slammed those who want to topple the Churchill statue and said: ‘The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny’.
He added: ‘It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protesters. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial’.
While Mr Johnson didn’t mention Sadiq Khan in his tweets, they were sent after a phalanx of Tory MPs slammed the Mayor of London for boarding up monuments instead of using police officers to form a ring of steel around them and arrest anyone who tries to attack them.
In a string of tweets sent after Sadiq Khan boarded up monuments, the Prime Minister defended the statue of Churchill and Britain’s history and slammed the minority of BLM protesters who attacked police telling them to stay away this weekend
Police removed a man in cuffs who is alleged to have caused trouble at previous protests in London as Boris Johnson promised they would be picked off
Amid growing public anger, Home Secretary Priti Patel has been forced to ‘read the riot act’ to police ordering them to do more to tackle violent protesters – as she pushed for 24-hour fast-track courts like those seen in 2011 riots that swept through urban Britain.
‘We cannot allow mob rule’: Furious Priti Patel is ‘reading the riot act’ to police ‘across the country’ ordering them to tackle violent protesters – as she pushes for 24-hour fast-track courts like those seen in 2011 riots
Priti Patel was praised for taking a stand against ‘mob rule’ today as she drew up swift justice plans to deal with protesters who assault police, vandalise property or cause criminal damage.
The Home Secretary and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland are plotting a response to anti-racism protests, based on the response to the 2011 London riots, urging magistrates’ courts to extend opening hours and fast-track any cases relating to protests.
It comes amid fears that the capital and other cities will again see mass demonstrations against racial prejudice in Britain, despite warnings to obey coronavirus restrictions.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan today urged Black Lives Matter supporters to ‘stay at home’ hours after they cancelled their planned Hyde Park protest tomorrow claiming that ‘many hate groups’ are threatening the safety of the thousands of supporters planning to attend.
But statues of historical figures like Winston Churchill, and even the Cenotaph, have been boarded up to prevent them being targeted.
The Home Secretary and other ministers does not have the power to order protesters to be arrested and charged, as that is an independent matter for the police and Crown Prosecution Service.
But Tory MP Bob Blackman told MailOnline the Home Secretary was urging police to use the extensive powers they have to ensure order.
‘She is reading the riot act, literally, to people up and down the country who are in charge,’ he said.
‘What we are considering now is the same rules that were operating in 2011 when we had riots and widespread looting. Those responsible were apprehended, charged processed through the courts and if found guilty imprisoned within 24 hours of the offence. That is what we need to do now.’
He added: ‘It is right that we review statues, monuments, plaques, street names… that is perfectly reasonable in a democratic society.
‘But you should not allow mob rule to determine what is going to be displayed and what is not.’
And today the Metropolitan Police have said they will be on the ‘front foot’ to tackle violence directed at officers or property tomorrow following serious disorder at anti-racism protests last weekend.
Commander Bas Javid, whose younger brother, former Chancellor Sajid Javid, has called the boarding of monuments ‘depressing’, said this afternoon: ‘We will learn from what happened last weekend. It’s accepted that a very, very small minority of people were intent on causing and engaging in violence.
‘We absolutely don’t condone that, violence of any kind, particularly against police officers, particularly against property, and we’ll be ready for that. Our most valuable tactic is to speak to people, make sure they understand the risks but also what they can do to make sure we have a peaceful demonstration.’ Mr Javid said both Black Lives Matter protesters and right-wing groups will be dealt with using the same tactics.
Boris Johnson chose to weigh in as the campaign to topple 100-plus ‘racist’ statues raced on and growing public anger that councils, schools and museums are pulling down monuments without consultation.
The PM said in his gale of tweets: ‘We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations. They had different perspectives, different understandings of right and wrong. But those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults. To tear them down would be to lie about our history, and impoverish the education of generations to come’.
Sadiq Khan today defended his decision to board the statues, saying the Met were also involved, and said: ‘I have decided that the best thing to do is to take precautions rather than there be further criminal damage and vandalism to our statues. There will be others boarded up through the course of the day and this evening’. He did not say when they would be uncovered again.
Tory backbencher Andre Bridgen slammed the police tactics employed over the past fortnight and told MailOnline: ‘That’s not policing, that’s spectating. If the rule of law is ignored it undermines the whole of our democratic system, which is exactly what the extreme elements want to do. It cannot be allowed to continue’.
He added: ‘Churchill’s famous words ‘We will never surrender’ are completely undermined by Mayor Khan’s appeasement of the mob. It’s a national humiliation. Khan must resign and so should Met Commissioner Cressida Dick’. Nigel Farage also called the situation: ‘Surrender to the mob’.
As debate rages over the future of many of Britain’s most famous monuments, it has also emerged:
- Critics line up to slam Sadiq Khan’s decision to board up statues as Mayor of London says more will be closed off;
- Furious Priti Patel is ‘reading the riot act’ to police ‘across the country’ ordering them to tackle violent protesters – as she pushes for 24-hour fast-track courts like those seen in 2011 riots
- TV channels rush to pull shows that could offend as John Cleese slams ‘stupid’ UKTV decision to remove the classic ‘Germans’ episode of Fawlty Towers;
- Stephen Lawrence’s brother Stuart, 43, backs BLM marchers but says ‘violence is not the answer’;
- Suffolk Police forced to apologise after demanding middle-aged black couple provide ID for ‘driving a motor vehicle on a road’ and accuse them of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when they get upset;
Boris Johnson spoke out about tomorrow’s BLM his visit to the UK Biocentre in Milton Keynes today
Boris Johnson today blasted ‘absurd and shameful’ attacks on the statue of Sir Winston Churchill and said the UK ‘cannot lie about its history’ as Sadiq Khan was accused of ‘surrendering’ the capital’s streets ‘to the mob’ after he ordered the boarding up of the monument to Britain’s greatest prime minister and the nearby Cenotaph
A statue of Winston Churchill that looks on to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament is totally hidden from view this morning after it was graffitied last weekend
Six Penny Lane signs including one signed by Sir Paul McCartney are vandalised
Emmett O’Neill cleans a road sign for Penny Lane, made famous by The Beatles
Six road signs in Liverpool’s Penny Lane have been vandalised after speculation over whether it was named after a slave trader.
Four signs on the road, made famous by The Beatles song of the same name, were spray-painted over on Friday morning, with the word ‘racist’ painted on the wall above one sign.
By midday, the graffiti had been cleaned off by residents Emmett O’Neill and Lucy Comerford.
Ms Comerford said: ‘Penny Lane is very much a community and this is just absolutely disgusting. It is just wrong.’
Mr O’Neill said: ‘Defacing Penny Lane signs is not going to change a lot. I just think it’s the wrong way to go about things.’
One of the signs featured an autograph by Sir Paul McCartney, who signed his name when he visited the area for an episode of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke in 2018.
A screen placed over the sign to protect the signature meant it was not damaged by the graffiti.
Turning his fire on the BLM protesters who have injured 60 police officers in London in the past ten days, Mr Johnson said: it is clear that the protests have been sadly hijacked by extremists intent on violence. The attacks on the police and indiscriminate acts of violence which we have witnessed over the last week are intolerable and they are abhorrent’.
He added: As for the planned demonstrations, we all understand the legitimate feelings of outrage at what happened in Minnesota and the legitimate desire to protest against discrimination. Whatever progress this country has made in fighting racism – and it has been huge – we all recognise that there is much more work to do. The only responsible course of action is to stay away from these protests’.
The Mayor of London today urged Black Lives Matter supporters to ‘stay at home’ hours after they cancelled their planned Hyde Park protest tomorrow claiming that ‘many hate groups’ are threatening the safety of the thousands of supporters planning to attend.
Conservative MP Bob Blackman told MailOnline that the boarding up of statues is an ‘absolute disgrace’ and branded Mr Khan the ‘do nothing mayor’, adding ‘I’m appalled he’s lost control of our streets’.
After the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol last weekend, police chiefs vowed to stop vandals damaging statues – but Martin Hewitt, the head of the National Police Chiefs Council, admitted officers may not stop statues being toppled if it puts them or the public in danger. He also urged councils and museums considering removing monuments to act before monuments are targeted by protestors, saying the matter should be resolved without police having to step in.
Sadiq Khan today asked all BLM protesters to stay at home this weekend to avoid clashes with the far-right, as well as to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mayor Khan tweeted: ‘To anyone planning to join #BlackLivesMatter ;protests over the coming days: for you and your families safety, please stay at home and find a safe way to make your voice heard. To the extreme far-right groups hijacking this crucial cause: Londoners have no time for your hatred’.
BLM has axed its Hyde Park rally and told supporters: ‘We want the protests to be a safe space for people to attend. However, we don’t think it will be possible with people like them present’.
But other anti-racism groups will still hold their own events in Central London tomorrow, including an ‘Anti-fascists support Black Lives Matter’ run by Labour’s far-left pressure group Momentum. It raises the risk of violent clashes with Tommy Robinson and far-right groups planning their own counter-protests after pledging to ‘defend our memorials’ in Parliament Square tomorrow.
Protesters raise their fists as they respond to the the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis last week, by gathering in Hyde Park today
Another man was escorted away from the BLM protest as officers appeared to be scooping up people that may have been causing trouble over the past ten days
Plinth for Thatcher statue in home town still empty
Furious campaigners who have fought for a statue of Margaret Thatcher in her home town insist it should still be erected despite fears it will be torn down by protester backing the BLM movement.
Sixteen months after the controversial statue was finally approved by councillors in Grantham – the plinth on which it will stand still remains empty.
Following a decade of rows, the coronavirus is the latest in a long line of opponents who have delayed the arrival of a memorial to Baroness Thatcher in the Lincolnshire town where she grew up.
And as a debate rages across Britain about the suitability of various statues, there have been fresh calls for the £300,000 monument not to be erected.
Opponents of the ‘Iron Lady’ say she was a diversive figure and claim the statue will only attract vandals.
But outraged supporters insist the monument is a ‘fitting tribute’ and must be erected as planned.
Well over a year has now passed since councillors finally approved the privately funded statue for Britain’s first female Prime Minister, who famously lived above her father’s Grantham grocers store.
However, the statue remains in storage at a secret location and a date for the big unveiling has yet to be confirmed.
On Mayor Khan’s orders last night, scaffolding sprung up around Churchill, the Cenotaph on Whitehall and statues of George Washington and King James II on Trafalgar Square late on Thursday evening after concerns they could yet again be targeted by activists, with many of the monuments now completely hidden from view.
The monument to Britain’s greatest war-time leader was covered in graffiti last weekend that said Churchill ‘was a racist’ – but instead of police guarding the monument this weekend it has been boarded up instead.
Last night the government said it is looking to introduce new rules which would mean protesters who assault police, vandalise property or cause criminal damage could face swift justice in just 24 hours to avert a summer of riots.
The covering of British historical monuments prompted outrage last night. Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said on Twitter it was ‘so sad that rioters can’t be trusted not to attack the cenotaph, so much so that they now feel the need to board it up’.
And Alexander Stafford, Tory MP for Rother Valley, said it was a ‘sad day’ for London that the Cenotaph had to be boarded up and that ‘those that want to attack this symbol of freedom and liberty make me deeply ashamed’.
Workers also boarded up the George Washington statue on Trafalgar Square, a statue to King James II and monuments of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
The protests – sparked by the killing of George Floyd by US police officers – has ignited a discussion about Britain’s imperial past and historical figures associated with slavery and racism.
Last Sunday activists tore down the statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol before dumping him in the city’s harbour.
This action reverberated around the country with the removal of a string of monuments and statues, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledging the capital’s landmarks would be reviewed by a commission to ensure they reflect diversity.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: ‘The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is being temporarily covered for its protection.
‘The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful, but after recent damage the decision was taken by the GLA City Operations Unit to cover it.’
Dawn breaks at the Cenotaph, Britain’s memorial to its glorious war dead, was boarded up on Thursday evening in anticipating of further Black Lives Matter marches this weekend
Workmen have this morning arrived at Guy’s Hospital in London to begin boarding up a statue to its slave-trading founder Thomas Guy following pressure from Black Lives Matter protesters
Boards being put up around the statue of Sir Thomas Guy at Guy’s hospital in London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests. It will soon be removed
A contractor constructs a barrier around the statue of Sir Robert Clayton, who had links to the slave trade, at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in London
Fencing is put up around the Abraham Lincoln memorial in Parliament Square today ahead of BLM-related protests and counter-protests
Also outside the National Gallery, a statue of James II that looks upon Nelson’s Column is boarded up for its own protection
Scaffolders erect boarding around the George Washington statue on Trafalgar Square, London – yet another of the capital’s famous statues to be covered up
Security barriers are placed in Whitehall outside Downing Street, where protesters have repeatedly attacked police officers
Workmen have this morning arrived at Guy’s Hospital in London to begin boarding-up a statue to its slave-trading founder Thomas Guy following pressure from Black Lives Matter protesters.
Pieces of wood have today been erected around the statue, in Guy’s Courtyard, next to the intentionally-renowned hospital.
The workmen were seen arriving during a live broadcast from Good Morning Britain today and since have boarded-up most of the statue.
Hospital chiefs say they plan to remove it completely amid growing concerns it may be targeted by anti-racism protesters.
Yesterday The Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospital trust revealed on Twitter that the contentious monument of Guy will be next in a string of statues taken down over links to Britain’s historic slave trade.
Bookseller Guy made his fortune as a major shareholder in British slave-trafficking firm South Sea Company. He sold his shares for £250,00 – the equivalent of £400million in modern-day prices – and founded Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge in 1721.
A second statue depicting Robert Clayton will be taken down from St Thomas’s hospital – where Boris Johnson was admitted with coronavirus in April – near Westminster Bridge. Clayton was part of the Royal African Company who shipped African slaves to the Americas.
The hospitals are both part of the same trust.
A statue dedicated to the founder of the Scouting movement Robert Baden-Powell will remain in place, but instead will be boarded-up, as council chiefs look to protect it from protesters threatening to tear it down.
Civic chiefs had previously agreed to take down the 5ft tall bronze statue in Poole Quay amid fears it would be targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters.
But the proposal sparked an angry backlash from Scout leaders and members of the public who sought to protect it, including from two former Scouts, who camped overnight to ensure it wasn’t touched by council workmen or protests.
Last night bosses at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council put 24-hour security in place to protect the statue.
Civic chiefs had previously agreed to take down the 5ft tall bronze statue in Poole Quay amid fears it would be targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters
Two men have camped out next to the statue of Scout movement founder Robert Baden-Powell (pictured) in a bid to protect it from protesters
In a statement last night, Sadiq Khan also raised concerns over potential clashes between BLM protesters and far right groups.
The 92 ‘racist’ statues BLM supporters would like to be destroyed
It comes after the Democratic Football Lads Alliance has called on supporters to travel to London to protect monuments.
Far-right figure Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has also expressed his support.
Mr Khan said: ‘I’m extremely concerned that further protests in central London not only risk spreading Covid-19, but could lead to disorder, vandalism and violence.
‘Extreme far-right groups who advocate hatred and division are planning counter-protests, which means that the risk of disorder is high.
‘Be in no doubt these counter-protests are there to provoke violence, and their only goal is to distract and hijack this important issue.
‘Staying home and ignoring them is the best response this weekend.’
Last night it was revealed protesters who assault police, vandalise property or cause criminal damage could face swift justice in just 24 hours, under new plans being brought forward by the government.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland and Home Secretary Priti Patel have drawn up new plans, based on the response to the 2011 London riots, urging magistrates’ courts to extend opening hours and fast-track any cases relating to protests.
Tory MP Bob Blackman told MailOnline it was ‘outrageous’ that police were not challenging vandals threatening to take down historic statues.
‘I think we have to give absolute support to our police force in doing what they do very bravely against the mob. But they have got to do their part by defending people and property.’
Mr Blackman said the Home Secretary was urging police to use the extensive powers they have to ensure order.
‘She is reading the riot act, literally, to people up and down the country who are in charge,’ he said. ‘What we are considering now is the same rules that were operating in 2011 when we had riots and widespread looting. Those responsible were apprehended, charged processed through the courts and if found guilty imprisoned within 24 hours of the offence. That is what we need to do now.’
‘It is right that we review statues, monuments, plaques, street names.. that is perfectly reasonable in a democratic society. But you should not allow mob rule to determine what is going to be displayed and what is not.
‘When you have a position where Winston Churchill who led this country against the facscists, his statue is being defaced… I’m afraid as soon as that starts happening people need to stand up and say no. ‘The problem then becomes that if the police do not defend them then those that do want to defend them will. And then you get violent clashes.’
He said the Cenotaph commemorates those who ‘gave their lives so we can live in freedom’. ‘It is ironic that we are boarding up the Cenotaph for the threat of mob violence against it,’ he said.
Mr Blackman said law and order had to be maintained. ‘I want the PM, the Home Secretary and the Cabinet to be saying this very loud and very clear.’
‘Sadiq Khan is the do nothing mayor. He fails to keep London transport functioning, he bows to the unions on that. He fails to ensure safety on our streets and then complains to everyone else… it is his fault for failing to control things.’
Violent protestors will be jailed within 24 hours of arrest under plans to prevent the Black Lives Matter demonstrations leading to a summer of disorder.
The fast-track prosecutions which the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, has reportedly given the green light to, are modelled on those used during the 2011 London riots.
Under the plans drawn up with Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, protestors arrested for assaulting police officers, criminal damage and vandalism will be put behind bars within 24 hours.
Mr Buckland has told magistrates to extend opening times in areas where there are protests and fast-track cases related to demonstrations, The Times reported. Weekend court sittings will also be available if there is a surge in the number of cases.
The Government will also publish a consultation on plans to double maximum sentences for assaulting emergency workers to two years.
Similar measures during riots in the capital in the summer of 2011 are credited by police with helping to take the momentum out of the disorder.
It comes as police chiefs have voiced their concerns about a summer of disorder.
Since the Black Lives Matter movement took hold in the UK some 137 people have been arrested and 62 police officers have been injured.
Police are also thought to be concerned about potential clashes between the anti-racism protestors and far-right counter groups
A ‘hit list’ of statues and memorials to some of Britain’s most famous figures has been created by an anti-racism group
Priti Patel last night accused Labour MPs of trying to ‘silence’ her after she spoke out about her personal experiences of racism.
John Cleese slams ‘stupid’ UKTV decision to remove Fawlty Towers ‘don’t mention the War’ episode
John Cleese has slammed BBC-owned UKTV for removing an episode of Fawlty Towers which featured racist language.
The actor, 80, who played Basil Fawlty, branded the channel ‘stupid’ for not realising The Germans was mocking the Major’s use of the ‘n-word’.
The 1975 episode, fondly remembered for the line ‘don’t mention the War’, is the latest in a series of British programmes to be culled from streaming sites.
Little Britain was removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox and Ant and Dec issued an apology for ‘impersonating people of colour’ on Saturday Night Takeaway.
An episode of Fawlty Towers (pictured) from which the N-word and other offensive terms had previously been cut has been taken down from the BBC’s UKTV player. John Cleese (centre as Basil Fawlty) branded the channel ‘stupid’ for not realising it is mocking racist people
The 1975 episode titled The Germans – fondly remembered for the repeated line ‘don’t mention the war’ – is the latest in a series of British TV shows culled from streaming sites
Speaking from his home in LA, Cleese told TheAge: ‘One of the things I’ve learned in the last 180 years is that people have very different senses of humour.
‘Some of them understand that if you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of you’re not broadcasting their views, you’re making fun of them.’
He added: ‘The Major was an old fossil left over from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them. If they can’t see that, if people are too stupid to see that, what can one say?’
A UKTV spokesman said The Germans – which also sees Mr Fawlty offend German guests with Second World War references – was removed for review because it ‘contains racial slurs’.
The Home Secretary said earlier this week that she would ‘not take lectures’ on racism from the Opposition as she described how she was herself frequently subjected to abuse as a child.
It came after she condemned ‘mob rule’ that marred Black Lives Matter protests at which a Winston Churchill statue was vandalised. But dozens of ethnic minority Labour MPs yesterday seized on her comments to accuse her of playing down the ‘very real racism’ faced by black people.
In a letter to Miss Patel, they said being a ‘person of colour’ did not automatically make her an ‘authority’ on all forms of racism.
Miss Patel, the child of Gujarati Indian parents who fled to the UK from Uganda shortly before Idi Amin expelled all Asians from the country, said she would ‘not be silenced’.
Ministers and other senior Tories accused the Labour MPs of making ‘utterly misguided and irresponsible’ comments.
The letter to Miss Patel was sent by shadow minister for community cohesion Naz Shah and co-signed by more than 30 Labour MPs. It read: ‘We write to you as Black Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) Labour MPs to highlight our dismay at the way you used your heritage and experiences of racism to gaslight the very real racism faced by black people and communities in the UK.’ Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation designed to make someone doubt their own sanity.
Sharing the letter online yesterday, Miss Patel said: ‘I will not be silenced by Labour MPs who continue to dismiss the contributions of those who don’t conform to their view of how ethnic minorities should behave.’
One of Britain’s top police officers vowed yesterday that vandals damaging statues will face justice – but admitted officers may not stop them being toppled.
Last night there was mounting pressure on Avon and Somerset Police to make arrests over the tearing down of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue on Sunday. The momument was hauled out of Bristol Harbour early yesterday.
Martin Hewitt, the head of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), declared: ‘We will seek to bring people to justice’.
He said police will not tolerate attacks on public property, adding: ‘I’m really clear. If you go and damage a statue or a monument, or you try to steal a statue or a monument or you pull it down, then that is a criminal offence.
‘Then you should be dealt with for a criminal offence and we will investigate and we will seek to bring people to justice. That’s the rule of law.’
He urged councils and musuems to act before monuments are targeted by protestors, saying the matter should be resolved without police having to step in.
‘It’s not a matter for the police, unless a criminal offence is committed,’ he said.
‘This is a matter for those people that own or are the guardians of the statues wherever they may be, and dealing with those people who feel very strongly about appropriateness or otherwise of those statues.
‘Where people feel that something is inappropriate that should be taken up through proper processes with the people that are responsible for that statue, and this is dealt with in a way that is done peacefully and done in a way that everyone can be satisfied with. It shouldn’t be dealt with by criminal acts.’
He spoke out as the NPCC’s lead on public order, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington, admitted forces may not act to prevent statues being toppled if people’s safety was a risk.
Nigel Farage says his split with LBC Radio ‘happened rather suddenly’ as he stands by his criticism of ‘Marxist’ Black Lives Matter movement
Nigel Farage has doubled down his attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters hours after LBC pulled the plug on his radio show amid growing staff anger at his controversial comments.
Colleagues had ratcheted up pressure on the station’s owner, Global Media, to drop the Brexiteer from its presenting cast following his scathing opposition to anti-racism campaigners.
LBC yesterday announced Mr Farage was stepping down from his evening show ‘with immediate effect’ following talks with bosses.
But the firebrand politician was back on air this morning on a rival radio station and stuck by criticism of BLM, which he branded a ‘Marxist anarchist mob’.
He also insisted there was no bitterness between him and LBC, telling Talk Radio: ‘We’ve been in negotiations for some time, but as often with things in life it happened rather suddenly. And I’ve got no wish to comment about it, I’ve no wish to display sour grapes.’
In a nod to a near-fatal plane crash Mr Farage survived on the day of the 2010 election, he added: ‘Compared to climbing out of a light aircraft, that’s just crashed to the ground in 2010, it’s pretty small beer.’
Internal disquiet among LBC staff reached a crescendo on Tuesday after Mr Farage compared anti-racism activists to the Taliban during a blazing television debate.
But the politician today voiced his disgrace at how he had been ‘screamed at like I was a liar’ on Good Morning Britain after suggesting the main aim of BLM was to defund the police.
‘Officers will be there looking to make sure that people don’t get hurt in the first instance, trying to protect property if that’s the right thing to do, but people come first, making sure officers and those taking part are safe,’ the Essex Police chief said.
‘Commanders weigh up all of the issues they are facing that includes protecting people’s lives and protecting people’s property to take the appropriate response.
‘Sometimes that will see people arrested there and then, sometimes that will be about warnings and sometimes that will be about gathering evidence and having an investigation afterwards to bring those people to justice because that is the safest and the best thing to do.’
He added: ‘We will not tolerate violence in our communities, whether that’s against people, whether it’s against property or, indeed, against police officers, and if this kind of disorder occurs, we will act.’
Police have made 138 arrests during Black Lives Matter demonstrations. So far 62 officers have been injured in the protests.
Colston’s statue was lifted out of Bristol Harbour yesterday morning, four days after protestors dumped it there.
The city council carried out a secret recovery operation to fish it out at 5am tweeting: ‘It is being taken to a secure location before later forming part of our museums collection.’
It took a team of five, including one diver in the water and another waiting on the shore, just under an hour to remove it.
Avon and Somerset Police have launched an investigation but the force has yet to make any arrests, despite the protestors yanking the statue down being clearly identifiable on camera.
Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to have had a ‘firm’ discussion with the force’s Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, about why officers did not intervene when the monument was torn down.
Now the force has urged people to hand themselves in amid concerns that the prosecution could flounder without Bristol City Council making a formal complaint about the loss of the statue.
Yesterday the Conservative candidate to be Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner urged the force to act.
Mark Shelford claimed officers were ‘very upset and frustrated’ by orders not to intervene to prevent the damage to the Colston statue.
The former deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council said: ‘I am sympathetic that these things take time to get all the evidence together before you make the arrests, but if arrests are not made by the end of the week I will be asking questions.’
Police apologise after demanding middle-aged black couple provide ID for ‘driving a motor vehicle on a road’ and accuse them of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when they get upset
Suffolk Police have issued a public apology after two officers stopped a middle-aged black couple and demanded they show their IDs because they were ‘driving a motor vehicle on a road’.
Footage of the incident, in which one officer apparently accuses the couple of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ of the Black Lives Matter protests, sparked outrage on social media.
Ingrid Antoine-Oniyoke, 47, and her husband Falil Oniyoke, 50, were stopped in Ipswich on Tuesday after ‘glancing’ at a police car parked near Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke’s mother’s house.
Suffolk Police have issued a public apology after two of its officers, one of whom is pictured here, stopped a middle-aged black couple and demanded they show their IDs because they were ‘driving a motor vehicle on a road’
Ingrid Antoine-Oniyoke, 47, and her husband Falil Oniyoke, 50, were stopped in Ipswich on Tuesday after ‘glancing’ at a police car parked near Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke’s mother’s house
The female officer tells them ‘You have turned something irate that shouldn’t be. You are just jumping on the bandwagon – that’s not okay’
In the video, a male officer says: ‘At the end of the day, whether it looks funny or not, you were driving a motor vehicle on a road, so therefore I am requiring you to provide proof of drivers (licence).’
Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke tells him: ‘You are kidding us right now. You can see why people get upset.’
‘All that I need is proof that you are the driver of that vehicle, and you live here and we are gone,’ the officer replies.
The couple, from Watford, had been staying at Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke’s mother’s house while their own house was renovated.
Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke’s mother is currently in the Caribbean island of Grenada.
The female officer tells them ‘You have turned something irate that shouldn’t be. You are just jumping on the bandwagon – that’s not okay’.
The officer appeared to be referring to the Black Lives Matter protests.
The male officer then tells Mr Oniyoke and Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke ‘you look suspicious’.
He continued: ‘You can argue and you can say ‘why, why, why the whole time’.’
Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke tells them ‘this is disgusting’ while her husband says ‘this is profiling’.
‘You can laugh and shake your head as much as you want,’ Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke says.
The couple’s daughter Maja Antoine-Oniyoke, pictured, posted the exchange on social media which prompted Suffolk Police to issue an apology
The couple’s daughter Maja posted footage her mother had filmed of the exchange on Twitter, prompting Suffolk Police to issue an apology.
The force said: ‘Suffolk Constabulary is aware of the video circulating on social media involving two of our officers.
‘Having looked at the issues raised by a large number of people, particularly regarding certain comments which were made on the video, we would like to apologise for the offence these have caused.’
It continued: ‘The constabulary is very aware of the depth of feeling surrounding the events of the last few weeks and the issue of racism in our society.
‘We always try to ensure we police all our communities with dignity, respect and fairness. Where those values are not met we will do everything we can to learn from that.’
Maja, a student, told the PA Media news agency that she found the clip so upsetting it was hard to watch.
‘My grandma and my uncle live (in Ipswich) – my uncle and quite a lot of the black community in Ipswich in response to this have said there is an issue with race and the police,’ she said.
‘Some have even said they have had encounters with that male officer in particular.’
Her parents had only been to the garage to collect her mother’s car and had ‘glanced’ at the police car parked in the quiet street as they returned.
The two officers only left when her father showed them ID.
MailOnline has contacted the Independent Office for Police Conduct to see if they are investigating the incident.
Splendour from slavery: From sprawling Brodsworth Estate to historic Ham Green House… the country retreats built on the back of centuries-old forced labour
By JACK ELSOM FOR MAILONLINE
Sprawling across acres of estate, Britain’s grand country houses attract millions of tourists each year eager to gain a glimpse of how the landed classes used to live.
But magnificent exteriors and rooms stuffed with riches often masks the murky history of the buildings and the people who owned them.
Many of the UK’s country residences were owned by or built for slave-owners or people profiting from colonial trade.
Some of the houses do not gloss over their foundations, but many of the tourists who pour in through their doors will likely leave unaware of the building’s ties with slavery.
Following the recent Black Lives Matter protests, a debate has exploded over whether statues of controversial figures should stand or fall.
Nearly a decade ago, historians contributed to a Historic England project which examined the links of country houses to slavery.
The National Trust and English Heritage, which manages many of these houses, have both committed to giving visitors a rounded grounding in their history.
Below are some of the houses with historic links to the slave trade:
Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire
Owner: English Heritage
The stunning Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire is a jewel in English Heritage’s portfolio of old country houses.
The existing Victorian building was erected in 1861 for Charles Sabine Thellusson, but the original estate was constructed in 1791 for merchant Peter Thellusson.
Thellusson’s family were originally financiers in Switzerland, but he moved to England in 1760 to oversee the family’s banks.
This role saw him provide loans to slave ship and plantation owners. As these slave owners defaulted on debts, Thellusson amassed interests in Caribbean plantations, according to the English Heritage website.
In 1790, just before Brodsworth Estate was built, he married the daughter of Antigua slave owner Sir Christopher Bethell-Codrington.
The Thellussons continued to own slaves in Grenada and Monsterrat until 1820.
The existing Victorian building of Brodsworth Hall was erected in 1861 for Charles Sabine Thellusson, but the original estate was constructed in 1791 for merchant Peter Thellusson
Ashton Court, Bristol
Owner: Bristol City Council
Ashton Court was until the 1950s owned by the Smyth family, which lived on the estate since it was purchased in 1545 by John Smyth, the former sheriff and mayor of Bristol.
Some historians reckon the Smythss involvement with the slave trade was as early as the 1630s, before Bristol became a focal point of colonial trade.
Jarrit Smyth, MP for Bristol in the mid 1700s was a member of the Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers – the elite body which actively lobbied on behalf of Bristol participants in the African, American and West Indian trades.
The renovation of the house into the grand palatial home which stands today came about after the marriage of John Hugh Smyth to Rebecca Woolnough, the Jamaican heiress.
A £40,000 marriage settlement included a portfolio of properties in both England and Jamaica, such as the Spring sugar plantation.
From the sale of sugar at these plantations, John Hugh raked in over £17,000 between 1762-1802, according to experts.
Ashton Court was until the 1950s owned by the Smyth family, which has owned the estate since it was purchased by 1545 by John Smyth, the former sheriff and mayor of Bristol
Some historians reckon the Smythss involvement with the slave trade was as early as the 1630s, before even Bristol became a focal point of colonial trade
Northington Grange, Hampshire
Owner: English Heritage
The magnificent Grange at Northington, built in the mid 1660s, is a symbol of Greek revivalism in England and resembles an Athenian temple.
Throughout much of its history, the house has been owned by two political dynasties – the Drummonds and Barings – which historians from Historic England say root the Grange in ‘significant social and economic connections to Atlantic slavery’.
While the Drummonds, who purchased the Grange in 1787, and Barings, who owned the house from 1817, did not directly own slaves, the historians claim much of their wealth derived from slavery, because some of their banking clients were slave owners.
Caribbean plantation owners held accounts with Drummonds bank and Henry Drummond was Paymaster to the armed forces in North America and the Caribbean.
As an MP, Alexander Baring was an advocate for the free trade of cotton and sugar – then harvested by slaves on plantations – and he also opposed the immediate abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
Much of Alexander’s wealth was also sourced through his marriage into the Bingham family who had gained substantially through trade with the French Caribbean colony, Martinique.
As a partner of Baring Brothers bank, Alexander also profited from the expansion of slavery across the American South through funding of the Louisiana Purchase in 1802.
The magnificent Grange at Northington, built in the mid 1660s, is a symbol of Greek revivalism in England and is likened to a Athenian temple
Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, Bristol
Owner: Events venue
Now a conference centre and wedding venue, the Palladian mansion was originally built in 1814 for Philip John Miles.
Miles inherited his father Williams Caribbean plantations to become Bristol first sugar millionaire and largest West India merchant, according to Historic England academics.
Hundreds of Africans were enslaved at plantations, including the ones at Vallay and Rhodes Hall, according to family business papers in the mid 1700s.
Slave Compensation Records also show Miles claimed over £36,000 for the 1,700 African slaves at plantations in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1830s.
Now a conference centre and wedding venue, the Palladian mansion was originally built in 1814 for Philip John Miles
Marble Hill House, Twickenham
Owner: English Heritage
This sprawling Palladian home, set in 66 acres of land, was built in 1724 for Henrietta Howard, the Countess of Suffolk.
It is described by the English Heritage as the ‘last complete survivor of the elegant villas and gardens which bordered the Thames between Richmond and Hampton Court in the 18th century’.
Howard was a notorious mistress of King George II when he was Prince of Wales, and received a windfall from the Crown when she left the court in 1722.
The bulk of this settlement was £11,500 of stock, of which over two-thirds were shares in the South Sea Company, according to Historic England research.
South Sea Company was heavily involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which historians say ‘was therefore crucial in funding both the acquisition of the land and the building of Marble Hill House.’
Later owners of the house also had strong links to the slave trade, and the use of mahogany material for the interior, including the grand staircase, was being harvested by slaves during the 1720s.
This sprawling Palladian home, set in 66 acres of land, was built in 1724 for Henrietta Howard, the Countess of Suffolk
It is described by the English Heritage as the ‘last complete survivor of the elegant villas and gardens which bordered the Thames between Richmond and Hampton Court in the 18th century’
Ham Green House, Bristol
Owner: Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre
The home was originally built in the early 18th century by West Indian slave trader Richard Meyler before being passed through marriage to Bristol MP Henry Bright, who opposed the emancipation of slaves.
His son, Richard Bright continued his father’s business in Jamaica and owned the Meylersfield, Beeston Spring and Garredu plantations.
In 1818 the plantations were given to his younger son Robert, who profited from slave compensation.
Ham House still has a mooring for the Bright ships which voyaged regularly to the West Indies, according to researchers.
The home was originally built in the early 18th century by West Indian slave trader Richard Meyler before being passed through marriage to Bristol MP Henry Bright, who opposed the emancipation of slaves
Clevedon Court, Somerset
Owner: National Trust
Clevedon Court is a 14th Century manor house which was bought and restorated by parliamentarian and Mayor of Bristol Sir Abraham Elton in 1709.
But Historic England researchers say his role as Master of Bristol’s Merchant Venturers and investment in the brass industry ties him with the Guinea trade.
Records from 1711 also list Abraham Elton as an investor in the Jason Galley slave ship, although it is murky whether this was him or his son.
His son, Abraham, also invested in slave ships along with brothers Isaac and Jacob, according to the research, which found the siblings lobbied Parliament in their role as traders against slave duties in 1731 and 1738.
The Elton family was still profiting from slave-produced sugar in the late 18th century, but were not listed as claimants at the time of emancipation.
Clevedon Court is a 14th Century manor house which was bought and restorated by parliamentarian and Mayor of Bristol Sir Abraham Elton in 1709
Kings Weston estate, Gloucestershire
Owner: Norman Routledge
The grand Kings Weston Estate in Gloucestershire is now a wedding venue, but centuries ago in the 1600s was owned by merchant and MP Sir Humphrey Hooke, who had ties with Barbados and Virginia.
The present house was built in 1708 by Sir John Vanbrugh for Bristol MP Robert Southwell, who bought Kings Weston in 1708.
Southwell and his son Edward were government officials in the administration of West Indian affairs, and Edward’s son, also Edward, promoted the interest of Bristol’s merchants in Africa and the West Indes during his spell as an MP.
In the 19th Century, Kings Weston was bought by Philip John Miles, the slave owner who also owned Ashton Court in Bristol.
The grand Kings Weston Estate in Gloucestershire is now a wedding venue, but centuries ago in the 1600s was owned by merchant and MP Sir Humphrey Hooke, who had ties with Barbados and Virginia
The present house was built in 1708 by Sir John Vanbrugh for Bristol MP Robert Southwell, who bought Kings Weston in 1708
In the 19th Century, Kings Weston was bought by Philip John Miles, the slave owner who also owned Ashton Court in Bristol
Penrhyn Castle, Wales
Owner: National Trust
The existing Penrhyn Castle was built in the early 19th century for George Hay Dawkins Pennant, whose wealth was inherited from slave owners.
The National Trust does not gloss over the castle’s past and on its website says: ‘Behind the formidable architecture, Victorian grandeur and fine interiors, present day Penrhyn Castle’s foundations were built on a dark history. One of exploitation, Jamaican sugar fortunes and the transatlantic slave trade.’
The Pennant family’s links with slavery began in the latter half of the 17th Century when Gifford Pennant, from Flintshire, bought estates in Jamaica where workers were enslaved.
Gifford’s son Edward became chief justice of Jamaica and his sons Samuel, Lord Mayor of London, and John, swelled the family’s estates during the early 1700s.
Richard Pennant, born in 1739, later became the 1st Baron Penrhyn and by 1805 owned nearly 1,000 slaves across his four Jamaican plantations.
As an MP, he was vocal in his opposition to the abolition of slavery. In the early nineteenth century, when Penrhyn Castle was being completed, the Pennants received £14,683 – around £1.3million in today’s money – for the freeing of 764 enslaved people in Jamaica.
The existing Penrhyn Castle was built in the early 19th century for George Hay Dawkins Pennant, whose wealth was inherited from slave owners
A spokeswoman from the National Trust said: ‘The National Trust looks after places and collections that are linked to legacies of colonialism and slavery.
‘We have a lot of work to do to ensure these are fully explored and we are working with partners to address this through projects like Colonial Countryside, through our channels and content and exhibitions.
‘We have a long way to go but we’re working to bring out the often painful and challenging histories attached to our places and collections through interpretation and exploration.’
A spokeswoman for English Heritage said: ‘The British country house is often seen as symbol of refinement and civility.
‘However, it is only in the last 20 years that the relationship between landed wealth, British properties and enslaved African labour has begun to be fully explored.
‘English Heritage has actively commissioned research into the links between slavery and its properties, in an effort to help communicate this difficult history.
‘For example although not a slave trader himself, Peter Thellusson at South Yorkshire’s Brodsworth Hall, invested in wide varieties of slavery-related commodities and land.
‘Marble Hill in Twickenham and Northington Grange in Hampshire both historically had financial ties to Atlantic slavery.
‘While at Kenwood House in London, owner Lord Mansfield as Lord Chief Justice, presided over a number of court cases that examined the legality of the slave trade.
‘He ruled in 1772 that slavers could not forcibly send any slaves in England out of the country, a significant point along the road to abolition.
‘English Heritage is committed to telling the full story of the sites in its care, including those elements that are painful today.’
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