British military are banned from ‘taking the knee’ in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests after commanders said it was too political
- Ministry of Defence has stopped British forces personnel from ‘taking the knee’
- Commanders worried the show of solidarity with BLM protests is too ‘political’
- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says armed forces should reset ‘woeful’ record on discrimination
British servicemen and women have been banned from ‘taking the knee’ because the act has become too ‘political’, it is claimed.
The Ministry of Defence have told uniformed forces personnel that they should not perform the symbolic gesture which is used to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is believed that commanders from at least one of branches of HM Armed Forces are worried that allowing officers to take the knee would cause political issues following mass protests on streets across the country.
But the view jars with Chief of the Defence Staff Nick Carter’s promise, in a letter to all commanders, to take action to stamp out racism from the ranks.
The Ministry of Defence have told uniformed forces personnel that they should not perform the symbolic gesture which is used to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement
And the move may caused division between soldiers as well, with those who already support the movement
‘Stopping racism isn’t political,’ Ben McBean, a black Royal Marine who lost limbs in Afghanistan, told the Sun.
He added that troops who believed #BlackLivesMatter would do it anyway and suffer the punishments.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘The MOD does a not tolerate racism and promotes diversity and equality. The recent protests have reminded us that we all have a role to play shaping a better society.’
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the armed forces needed to ‘reset’ their ‘woeful’ record on discrimination against black and minority ethnic personnel.
The Cabinet minister told The House magazine that his own department had historically ‘not done well enough’ in either recruiting or welcoming people from a black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background.
And Mr Wallace said: ‘From a purely selfish point of view, by not having more BAME personnel, not having more women, we are losing the opportunity to have some great talent. So it’s really, really important that this is stopped, crushed, got rid of, and we have to double our efforts.’