"When will we act?" David Lammy has his say on the Black Lives Matter movement

25 July 2020, 12:45 | Updated: 25 July 2020, 12:46

By Seán Hickey

David Lammy addressed the anti-racism movement and wondered how we can sustain the energy of the cause seen during lockdown.

David Lammy began by pointing at the scale of events seen in America early in lockdown which "ricocheted across the world," and led to "a very real debate, conversation in this country" over race relations, where we would usually brush off the social struggles in America.

David welcomed the activists that were addressing institutional racism in the UK during lockdown and saw it important to shine a light on the issue here.

"What matters to me is how do we sustain the energy of the black lives movement, how do we keep the conversation going and more importantly, how do we this time get some action, how do we really get the change."

David told listeners that he was fed up with having to hide behind enquiries and reports investigating racism in the UK and told listeners "we've got so many enquiries...when will we act?"

Anti-racism protests in the UK were widespread after the death of George Floyd
Anti-racism protests in the UK were widespread after the death of George Floyd. Picture: PA

"It feels like that perennial issue of policing remains a sore, remains a scar," David said, going on to point out many instances of heavy handed officers in the UK which went viral in the months following the death of George Floyd.

He went on to play a section of Dame Cressida Dick's interview with Nick Ferrari on officers who had "taken the knee" during protests and reflected on the role of police in British race relations.

David insisted that he doesn't get involved in whether or not people should take a knee, rather "it's about having a police service that can police cities like London well."

He argued that officers need to "act with communities," if they are to address race relations effectively and to do this you must have minority representation in the force.

David then countered his own suggestion when he pointed out that the percentage of black officers in the UK is just 1% of the force and this must change if there is to be real work done to address race relations.