Black Lives Matter

Cllr Stewart Golton, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Leeds City Council reiterated the party’s position on the Black Lives Matter movement in the light of recent controversy over demonstrations and calls for the removal of some monuments:

“Too many people’s lives both in the UK and across the world are blighted by discrimination, inequality or injustice. It is unacceptable. Liberal Democrat members in Leeds joined our party to fight for justice, liberty and equality, and we are committed to combating racism – whether conscious or unconscious – wherever we find it. The Black Lives Matter protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful. None of us want to see violence or vandalism on our streets, and none of us wants to see crowds of people at a time when social distancing is so important to save lives. But anyone who is more concerned about the people who are protesting than about the deep, pervasive institutional racism that they are protesting about has got their priorities badly wrong.”

In contrast to the Conservative opposition group on Leeds City Council, the Liberal Democrat Group support the establishment of a commission in the city to review the suitability of historic public monuments in the city. Cllr Golton continued:

“The statue of Edward Colston in Bristol should have come down years ago as it celebrated a man who made his fortune buying and selling human beings, and had become a symbol of division. A commission that gains the trust of those that petition the removal of monuments will avoid similar scenes as those in Bristol of people taking matters into their own hands, and I’m confident that Alderman Alison Lowe will approach her chairmanship seriously and responsibly.”

Leeds City Council Press Release: