UK Politicians Welcome George Floyd Murder Verdict, Are Instantly Called Out for Hypocrisy

"Black lives matter", say politicians who have previously criticised the BLM movement.
Demonstrators kneel in front of a mural depicting George Floyd during a "Kill the Bill" protest in Manchester City Centre on March 27, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Image
Demonstrators kneel in front of a mural depicting George Floyd during a "Kill the Bill" protest in Manchester, United Kingdom. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Image

Politicians in the UK have welcomed the guilty verdicts in the trial of former US police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd in May last year, killing the 46-year-old and sparking a global wave of protests over racial injustice.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, following a three-week trial in Minneapolis that included moving testimonies from witnesses to the incident, and a defence team that tried to argue Floyd died due to other medical issues


Following the jury’s verdicts, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict. My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends.”

Sajid Javid, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, also shared his relief at the conviction, writing on Twitter: “Justice. Black lives matter. RIP George Floyd.”

However, after many Conservative politicians had publicly criticised the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the wake of a government-backed race report which concluded structural racism didn’t exist in the UK, many people, including opposition Labour MPs, were quick to criticise the apparent hypocrisy.

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, wrote, “If I start to talk....#RaceReport,” in response to the UK Prime Minister’s tweet. 

Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South, tweeted, “This you?”, quoting Javid’s tweet next to a headline which read “Black Lives Matter is ‘not force for good’ says Tory MP Sajid Javid.”

Sultana also expressed relief at the verdict: “The right verdict was delivered in Minneapolis today but we know that real justice would be George Floyd being alive,” she wrote on Twitter. “Holding George’s family and loved ones in my heart, and recommitting to rooting out racism and systemic injustice that is deeply embedded within our society.”


Sharing a news article acknowledging the conviction, Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted, “Justice.”

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s mayor of London, wrote: “My thoughts are with George Floyd's loved ones. I welcome the verdict but by itself this won't heal the pain of their loss, which reverberated around the world. The guilty verdict must be the beginning of real change – not the end. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Politicians outside of the UK also responded to the jury’s decision. In an interview after the jury result, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said, “It is good news that we saw the verdict come through where people hoped it would, but it still underlines that there’s an awful lot of work to do.”

In a national address, President Joe Biden said the verdict was “much too rare for so many people.”

“It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism,” said Biden. “A stain on our nation’s soul, the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans.”