Black Lives Matter gets council backing in groundbreaking move for UK local authorities

Councillors have unanimously endorsed a motion supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The motion was put before the first full meeting of North Lanarkshire Council in months by councillors Paul Kelly, who is its deputy leader, and Cumbernauld representative Junaid Ashraf .

It’s believed that North Lanarkshire Council is among the first local authorities in the UK to formally adopt backing for the movement.

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A working group made up of councillors from all elected political parties in North Lanarkshire will now be set up to tackle all forms of racial injustice across the area.

The approved council motion states that: “The council recognises the objectives of the Black Lives Matter movement; further understands the racial tensions which have been heightened - and brought sharply into focus - by the horrific death of George Floyd in the United States, resulting in the protests across the world.”

Councillor Kelly said: “We all watched in shock and disgust the horrific death of George Floyd in the United States which resulted in protests worldwide.

“It is disappointing as a society that such incidents are required to bring into sharp focus the racial tensions in the world.

“Although there has been significant efforts to end discrimination in the UK, Scotland and North Lanarkshire I think we must be honest, they have often been inadequate.

“For our part in North Lanarkshire I am pleased that rather than just state that we support the objectives of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are going further and taking a very significant step forward by the council to take action to tackle all forms of racism.”

Councillor Ashraf added: “This is truly the proudest moment of my political career.”