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11:10 AM 10th July 2020

City Comes Together To Underline Its Commitment To Tackling Racism

A month on from Leeds City Council’s #8for8 initiative, civic leaders and Leeds sporting legends have come together and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to end racism and discrimination.

Joining Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan, the council’s chief executive, to show their support to tackling racism and injustice are over 80 civic leaders representing key institutions and sectors including education, health, business, sport, the third sector, faith and the arts in the city.

Civic leaders and Leeds sporting legends have come together to issue a joint statement to express their commitment to work together to end racism and discrimination.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan, the council’s chief executive, are joined by over 80 civic leaders representing key institutions and sectors including education, health, business, sport, the third sector, faith and the arts to reaffirm their commitment to ensuring racism has no place in Leeds.

Councillor Judith Blake Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“It’s fantastic to see so many local leaders, including some famous faces, getting behind our call for an end to racism and discrimination. Racism will not be tolerated in Leeds and this statement serves as a strong reminder of the need to continue to work together to create a fairer and more equal city for everybody.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, added:
“We all have a role to play in challenging racism and I would encourage organisations across Leeds to think about positive action they can take in their own organisations and communities, and to publicise their next steps. As the local authority we are committed to taking the lead on this to ensure that the current global attention on racial inequality results in positive change for the people of Leeds.”

The statement reads:

“As leaders in Leeds, we are horrified at the killing of George Floyd by police officers in the United States. We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

“Leeds is a richly diverse and multicultural city, something that we consider to be one of our key strengths. We are proud to work with fantastic individuals, communities and organisations that work tirelessly to create a fairer city for everybody.

“As civic leaders we are committed to building a city in which everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong. While we are proud that Leeds is overwhelmingly a welcoming city, we recognise that unfortunately racism and discrimination still exists. Everybody in Leeds has a part to play to challenge racism and prejudice wherever we find it.

“The tragic and appalling death of George Floyd has opened passionate conversations across the world about racism in our societies. In Leeds we welcome conversations about how, as a city, we can do more to eradicate racism and discrimination and to support those who have experienced it. This also requires honest conversations about our own history as a city, and how we wish to remember and relate to our past.

“Eradicating racism and discrimination is everybody’s business. We stand with all those in Leeds who are working peacefully to support our communities, challenge injustices and create a fairer society. Together we will ensure that racism has no place in Leeds.”


Leaders representing all the political groups in Leeds City Council have also expressed their support for a city-wide effort to end racism and discrimination.

Councillor Judith Blake, Councillor Andrew Carter, Councillor Stewart Golton, Councillor David Blackburn, Councillor Robert Finnigan and Councillor Mark Dobson, said:
“As Group Leaders of Leeds City Council, we are horrified at the killing of George Floyd by police officers in the United States. We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

“Leeds is a richly diverse and multicultural city, something that we consider to be one of our key strengths. We are proud to work with fantastic individuals, communities and organisations that work tirelessly to create a fairer city for everybody.

“As Group Leaders we are committed to building a city in which everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong. While we are proud that Leeds is overwhelmingly a welcoming city, we recognise that unfortunately racism and discrimination still exists. Everybody in Leeds has a part to play to challenge racism and prejudice wherever we find it.

“The tragic and appalling death of George Floyd has opened passionate conversations across the world about racism in our societies. In Leeds we welcome conversations about how, as a city, we can do more to eradicate racism and discrimination and to support those who have experienced it. This also requires honest conversations about our own history as a city, and how we wish to remember and relate to our past. We must respect the history we have by ensuring that we teach forthcoming generations what has gone before in order to remind us why we have our freedom today.

“Eradicating racism and discrimination is everybody’s business. We stand with all those in Leeds who are working peacefully to support our communities, challenge injustices and create a fairer society. We are pleased with the peaceful nature of protests in Leeds so far, however, we are clear we will not tolerate gratuitous attacks on the Police seen elsewhere or acts of wilful criminal damage.

“Together we will ensure that racism has no place in Leeds.”