Sir Iain Duncan Smith explained that while he respects the gesture to take a knee, his personal belief is to have a record of working against racism. The former Conservative leader explained his organisation brought in the modern day slavery bill and is currently arguing for improvements to be made to it. His comments come after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab faced criticism over his refusal to not take a knee.
Speaking to talkRADIO, Sir Iain said: “I have two particular views about this.
“I absolutely support the concept of Black Lives Matter, there’s no question about that and racism is an abhorrence and needs to be stamped out anyway.
“I happen to think the UK has made huge strides and we’ve improved dramatically. Is there more to be done? Yes.
“With regards to taking the knee to the concept of the organisation, I have concerns about what the organisation actually wants.
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Iain Duncan Smith has said he wouldn’t take part in the gesture
Dominic Raab said he would only take a knee for the Queen
“They seem, from what I’ve read, to want to bring down capitalism and take us to a new very strong kind of socialism.
“I don’t uphold that so, I absolutely support all people of colour who feel they have been put upon and wrongly so.
“But I think that these gestures are fine but my personal view is, it’s what I do that matters.”
He added that he hasn’t ‘taken a knee’ and said: “I think that’s a gesture, my view is stand on your record and my organisation brought in the modern day slavery bill and we’re now arguing for an improvement on it.”
It comes as the death in Minneapolis of a black man, George Floyd
It comes as the death in Minneapolis of a black man, George Floyd, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes has sparked protests around the world, with many demonstrators kneeling in streets and squares to protest against racism.
The position was first taken by National Football League player Colin Kaepernick during the playing of the U.S. national anthem to call attention to racial injustice, and has been adopted by many sports players since.
Mr Raab previously told talkRADIO he would only take a knee for the Queen.
He said: “I understand this sense of frustration and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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George Floyd timeline
“I’ve got to say on this ‘taking the knee’ thing, which I don’t know, maybe it’s got a broader history but it seems to be taken from the Game of Thrones.
“It feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation.
“But I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice.”
Mr Raab later tried to clarify his remarks, saying he had “full respect” for the Black Lives Matter movement.
David Lammy, the justice spokesman for the Labour Party and a longtime black rights campaigner, said on Twitter: “This is not just insulting to the Black Lives Matter movement, it is deeply embarrassing for Dominic Raab.
“He is supposed to be the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom.”