Minister says he won’t take the knee because it doesn’t achieve change

A senior minister has said he will not kneel because he does not believe it “addresses” the issue of racism or leads to significant change.

business secretary quasi quartengo defended his cabinet colleague, the home secretary Priti Patel – who branded the stand taken by England The squad as “the politics of gestures” during Euro 2020.

“When [Ms Patel] Ishaaron ki politics kehte hai…. It’s a gesture,” she told LBC. “It’s not something that’s going to affect people’s daily experience and I think that’s what she was saying.”

Asked if he would kneel down, Mr. Quarteng replied: “No, I won’t. I think it’s a gesture. I’m more focused on the actual results.”

He added: “It’s not addressing the issue. You see it in some companies. They go through motions, they say the right things but their mindset hasn’t changed.”

The business secretary also dismissed England star Tyrone Mings’ claim that Ms Patel had “lit the fire” of racism by refusing to condemn those who booed the team.

He said: “I’ve been following football since the 80’s when I was a kid and people used to throw bananas at black players. There’s always been an ugly element to it. I don’t think Priti Patel did that.

Mr Quarteng said he did not think any football player taking a knee should be prosecuted: “I have always been against it … people should be allowed to express their views.”

Reluctant to criticize the Metropolitan Police over the violence witnessed in the Euro final, the business secretary said: “I would not say it was a disaster.”

The security breaches at Wembley last Sunday were again under pressure, saying: “I think it was bad work. I really think it was bad work – I’m prepared to say so.”

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