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Keir Starmer: Protesters were wrong, but Colston statue should have been removed long ago

8 June 2020, 09:49 | Updated: 8 June 2020, 09:56

Sir Keir Starmer has told LBC it was "completely wrong" for protesters in Bristol to rip down a statue of a 17th century slave trader.

The memorial to Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour during yesterday's anti-racism demonstrations.

But in the first edition of his monthly phone-in, Call Keir, the Labour leader said the statue should've been removed by consent long ago and placed in a museum.

He said: "It shouldn't have been done in that way. Completely wrong to pull a statue down like that.

"But that statue should have been taken down a long, long time ago.

"You can't in 21st century Britain have a slaver on a statue. Statues are there to honour people. It should have been brought down properly with consent and put in a museum.

Sir Keir Starmer said there should not be a statue of Edward Colston
Sir Keir Starmer said there should not be a statue of Edward Colston. Picture: PA / LBC

"This was a man who was responsible for 100,000 people being moved from Africa to the Caribbean as slaves, including women and children, who were branded on their chests with the name of the company he ran.

"20,000 died on route and they were chucked in the sea.

"He should not be a statue in Bristol or anywhere else."

Hear the full edition of the first Call Keir below.

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