Tory MP On George Floyd Protests: ‘Arsonists And Looters Have It Coming’

Sara C Nelson

A Tory MP has sparked outrage after telling a constituent who asked him to condemn Donald Trump’s actions in the wake of George Floyd’s killing that “arsonists and looters have it coming”.

Sir Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West in Hampshire, had been asked whether he could support the US after it threatened to send in the military to deal with civil unrest.

In an email seen by HuffPost UK, he wrote back: “Racism is a cancer, and I’m glad that the perpetrator is on a murder charge. Nevertheless, looters, arsonists and rioters have it coming.”

Other constituents have also reported similar responses from the MP. In another email he wrote: “Arsonists and looters have it coming.”

It comes as UK voters appeal to their MPs to condemn Trump and urge the government to take action.

Floyd died last week after a police officer pressed his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes. His killing sparked protests that have spread across the US and beyond.

After several protests turned violent on Monday, Trump tweeted that he would use the military to restore order if governors did not.

And on Tuesday night in Washington, DC, local and federal law enforcement officials and military police officers were deployed in an overwhelming show of force meant to stamp out demonstrations against police brutality and racism. Protesters marched despite the threat of violence.

Sir Desmond Swayne  (Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Several of Swayne’s constituents revealed his responses on Twitter, commenting that they were “disgusted”. One described him as “perennially gross”. Some were urged to report him to the parliamentary standards commission.

Swayne has been contacted for comment.

He also made headlines last year after revealing that he once wore “blackface” to dress up as James Brown and had “no intention of apologising”.

Taking to his blog, he described it as “an entirely acceptable bit of fun” to dress up as other ethnicities.

Speaking to the Bournemouth Daily Echo, he said he did not understand why people from minority backgrounds might find it offensive, adding: “No one’s complained to me about it.”

Blackface has a history of perpetuating offensive and racist stereotypes of African Americans dating back more than 200 years in the US.

“It’s a tradition rooted in racism which is very much about the fear of Black people and the laughing at black people,” Dr Kehinde Andrews, associate professor in sociology at Birmingham City University told the BBC in 2017.

In a 2016 blog post, declaring himself a “hot-blooded male”, Swayne waded into the row over the burkini ban being overturned by a French court.

Explaining he could appreciate a bikini-clad body, he admitted finding something “attractive, alluring, even sensual” about concealment as “it leaves more to the imagination,” before adding: “Alas, the court is not accountable to me, and the French must sort out their own affairs.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.