British military are banned from ‘taking the knee’ in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests after commanders said it was too political
Soldiers have been banned from ‘taking the knee’ in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement because it was deemed too political.
Commanders warned personnel at HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire, that when in uniform they could not partake in the action.
Defence officials are currently reviewing the policy to see if there’s any leeway where they can show their respect in other ways.
A defence source said: ‘When they are in uniform, they are not allowed to take part in any political activity. With taking the knee, it is becoming a political movement.’
They added: ‘When you are in uniform there are long standing rules for how you should behave.
‘We are looking at the policy and are trying to find a way in an appropriate situation what they can do to show their respect.
‘The armed forces and the MoD is absolutely against racism in any form and wants to stamp it out.’
It comes after a row over the move as the Metropolitan Police gave the green light to its officers to taking a knee during a BLM protest last month.
Several officers adopted the pose in support of the anti-racism protests in London. The rank-and-file union said the gesture ‘shows we are human beings’.
One former officer said he was ‘ashamed’ that officers had taken a knee.. He tweeted: ‘I served in the Met Police many years ago.
‘Take a knee, never never ever, I’m ashamed of what they have to do today. In my day it would have been very very different.
‘The mayor of London and Cressida Dick should resign in total shame.’ It comes after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab came under criticism after he said he understood why some people took the knee, but said he would only do so ‘for the Queen and the Mrs when I asked her to marry me.’
The pose has spread widely since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month as a way of showing support for the BLM movement and respect for those killed.