09:50 GMT24 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party Keir Starmer on Monday said that he does not regret having taken a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    "I don’t regret it at all. It was an expression of solidarity, of recognition of the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and what they stand for across the world," Starmer remarked.

    In reference to the incident that has brought controversy to the racing series, the Labour leader said that deciding to take the knee must be an individual choice.

    "It’s got to be an individual choice … I made the choice to do, and I’m pleased and proud about that. Others will choose otherwise," Starmer remarked.

    In early June, Starmer released a photograph of himself and the party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, kneeling on the floor, with a caption expressing support for the movement amid the widespread public unrest following the death of George Floyd in the United States in May.

    During an appearance on the LBC radio broadcaster, Starmer was asked if he regretted this gesture after several Formula 1 drivers refused to take a knee ahead of the first race of the season in Austria on Sunday.

    Despite taking the knee, the Labour leader has been criticized by civil rights activists for calling the Black Lives Matter movement a "moment" in a previous media appearance and refusing to support the organization’s campaign to cut police budgets and divert funds to social programs.

    Black Lives Matter, Keir Starmer, United Kingdom
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