Sir Desmond Swayne has caused outrage after he called Black Lives Matter protesters “looters and arsonists” who “have it coming”.
The Tory MP for New Forest West responded to a local constituent’s appeal for him to condemn Donald Trump’s actions and support the BLM movement by saying:
“Thanks. Sorry to disagree. Arsonists and looters have it coming.”
In an other response to an email asking Swayne to condemn Floyd’s death, Swayne responded: “Racism is a cancer, and I’m glad that the perpetrator is on a murder charge.
“Nevertheless, looters arsonists and rioters have it coming.”
I emailed my local MP asking him to condemn Trump’s actions, support BLM / black people in our community and urge the UK government to take action. This was his response to my email … #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/1hsEH4BoqB— eleanor (@eleanormaryy) June 2, 2020
Complete lack of thought or care
The comments have been met with condemnation from other politicians.
Lib Dem Councillor Jack Davies said: “This is why people protest”, while Jess Phillips said that Swayne showed a “complete lack of thought or care”.
Florence Eshalomi tweeted: “Wow – what a response to a legitimate question from a constituent.
“I’m sorry your MP doesn’t seem to be able to show solidarity towards condemning racism and injustice with the local and national black community.”
Last year Swayne refused to apologise after a picture emerged of him “blacking up” at a fancy dress party.
He also said the the only reason he wouldn’t do it again is because it takes too much time to remove.
“The reason I wouldn’t do it again is because you have to go to some trouble to get it off. It’s not a non-trivial exercise,” he said in a blog post.