LONDON: The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has asked his officials to develop an action plan with community groups – to tackle racism, discrimination and inequality. He said the protests that have followed the death of George Floyd should be a “catalyst for change”.
Mr Khan also appealed to people not to protest as they may “inadvertently catch the virus” and pass it on to loved ones. But the London Mayor criticised comments made by Ms Patel and a tweet by Boris Johnson after protests at the weekend.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am quite clear the law has got to be followed. What I am also clear about is I don’t lead with words like ‘thuggery, recklessness and lawlessness’. “I lead with empathy and emotional intelligence, recognising the upset and anger people have about their voices not being heard for many years and many decades.”
Meanwhile, London’s landmarks will be reviewed to ensure they reflect the capital’s diversity after protesters tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office said London is “one of the most diverse cities in the world”, but recent ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests have highlighted that the city’s statues, plaques and street names largely reflect Victorian Britain.
The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will review the city’s landmarks – including murals, street art, street names, statues and other memorials – and consider which legacies should be celebrated before making recommendations.
Mr Khan said: “It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored.
“The Black Lives Matter protests have rightly brought this to the public’s attention, but it’s important that we take the right steps to work together to bring change and ensure that we can all be proud of our public landscape”, he emphasised.