Ashfield MP condemns 'thuggish minority at Black Lives Matter protests

Last week I sat in my office in Westminster just a hundred yards away from Downing Street listening to the deafening sounds of thugs attacking the police during the Black Lives Matter protest.

All of us agree that the killing of George Floyd was horrific and after watching the video for just a few seconds I had to turn it off as I found to distressing to watch.

One of the great things about this country is our right to peaceful protest and we are incredibly lucky to live in a place that is for the large part a safe and peaceful place.

But last week’s scenes have left me both angry and disappointed with the people who obviously used the protest as a means to their own end – that end being to cause trouble, attack the police and try to intimidate the Prime Minister.

In a week when surviving D-Day veterans were reflecting on events 76 years ago, we saw mindless acts of vandalism at the Cenotaph and other memorials around Whitehall.

Also, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and having passed the peak through all the hard work of the British public we should not be encouraging mass gatherings.

MPs and staff were frightened to leave the Houses of Parliament, this should never happen in our country and I would like to thank the police who were brilliant in making sure we could leave safely.

Some people will say I am outspoken, but I would say I just say what I think.

There are no airs and graces with me, what you see is what you get.

An example of this was last week when I used the term ‘all lives matter’ and was instantly abused online for it

I will not back down on this one – all lives do matter.

I want to live in a world where we can live in peace and not be discriminated against because of our race, religion, sex, skin colour, or sexuality.

That is not a big ask in my opinion.

This week, I will again sit in the Houses of Parliament and be a part of the greatest democracy in the world.

I feel incredibly privileged to work there and as I walk along Horse Guards Parade and see all the memorials and statues of our great wartime leaders, I always take a minute to reflect.

We all need time to reflect sometimes.