All three candidates in the Lib Dem leadership race have come out in support of the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol yesterday, lending their support to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Layla Moran tweeted that statues of slave merchants shouldn’t still be standing, while also putting her words into action, sending a letter to the Government calling on them to expedite the process of removing similar statues nationwide.
Ed Davey also supported the toppling of Colston, saying that we should “consign such monuments to museums that reveal the horror of slavery”.
Wera Hobhouse has further posted a statement on her website saying it was “indefensible” for the statue to still be present in Bristol.
The united front put on by the Lib Dems is in stark contrast to the Labour Party’s position, however. Despite the statue being of a notorious slave trader, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seemed to oppose the removal of the monument to Colston, appearing even to condemn Black Lives Matters protestors as engaging in “lawlessness”.
On the statue of Edward Colston, Keir Starmer says: "Nobody should condone the lawlessness." He says the statue "shouldn't come down in that way".— Sienna Rodgers (@siennamarla) June 8, 2020
Starmer’s comments have drawn sharp criticism from across the political divide. “With Lib Dem support for the Black Lives Matter protests seeming firm and united, Labour are looking increasingly like a mere extension of the Tories,” said our analyst. “In an important leadership election for the Lib Dems, they appear to be focusing in hard on inequality and racial injustice, just as Labour appear to be equivocating on the issue.”
Photo credit: CNN