Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has promised that he and his team will take unconscious bias training following his comment about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Starmer had said that some of the Black Lives Matter objectives were wrong, including their calls to defund the police which he called “nonsense”. He went on to say how proud he was of his work with the police while working as the former director of public prosecutions.
In the interview he also said of BLM: “The Black Lives Matter movement, or moment if you like, internationally is about reflecting something completely different.”
This morning on LBC’s “Call Keir” Show, Starmer was confronted by black Labour Party member Sharon who said she was “extremely disappointed” with Keir’s comments and asked if he would be updating his training. She also said his comments “feed into structural racism and unchallenged pervading elements of society”.
In response, Starmer firstly clarified what he meant by calling BLM a “moment” by saying: “What I was saying is that Black Lives Matter needs to be a moment, and I meant a defining moment and turning point, I didn’t mean a fleeting moment.
“And the reason I said that is because I’ve spoken to lots of black community leaders in the last few weeks and they have said to me over and over again ‘for heaven’s sake, this has got to be a turning point’.
It’s got to be the point at which people actually realise things have got to change.”
On the subject of taking unconscious bias tests, Sir Keir said he planned to do the two-to-three-hour course “as soon as I can book in for it”.
“I think everybody should have unconscious bias training, I think it is important,” he added.
“There is always the risk of unconscious bias and just saying ‘oh well it only applies to other people and not me’ is not the right thing to do, so I am going to lead from the front on this and do the training.”
Caller Sharon, from Walthamstow, said she “applauded” the Labour leader’s action.
“That was really what I was looking for, I am really pleased about that, I think it’s very important and he’s right, everyone should look into that,” she added.
Before his comments last month, Keir Starmer had taken the knee in support of the movement.