The leader of Barnet Council has urged people to work together to combat hatred following the death of George Floyd in the USA.

In a statement issued on Monday (June 8), Cllr Dan Thomas called for recognition that black lives matter to ensure “every person in this country and around the world is given equal opportunity”.

The council leader said he was proud to represent Barnet – a borough “made so much better and more interesting thanks to its rich diversity”.

He added that the council is working, through the ‘Together, we are Barnet’ campaign, to celebrate the borough’s diversity and bring people together.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 sparked a wave of demonstrations across the US and around the world.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin – who was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes – was subsequently charged with second-degree murder, while three other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

All four officers were fired by Minneapolis Police the day after the incident.

Demonstrations in recent weeks have seen many people rally in support of Black Lives Matter – a human rights movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people.

Cllr Thomas (Conservative, Finchley Church End) said: “It was incredibly distressing to see the reports of George Floyd, a black man killed by police officers in Minneapolis, USA. I am relieved that the officers involved – not just the one who took George Floyd’s life but also those who aided and abetted by just watching – have been charged. I hope that justice is done.

“These events have also led me to reflect on racism at home, as well as abroad, and how proud I am to represent Barnet – a borough made so much better and more interesting thanks to its rich diversity. All citizens should be treated equally and fairly, no matter their background, belief or orientation – there is no place for racism or hatred in any society.

“We have been running the Together, we are Barnet campaign to celebrate our borough’s diversity, and to show how much the many communities of our borough do for Barnet as a whole. We are working to bring people together, while racists work to push people apart.

“Black Lives Matter. This fact must be recognised as a standalone truth to bring about the societal change we need, to ensure that every person in this country and around the world is given equal opportunity.

“There is much work to do, and I will always do what I can to fight for all of Barnet’s residents. To combat hate, we must all work together.”

More information about Together, we are Barnet is available here: