All parties on Burnley Council except Conservatives sign joint statement condemning 'white lives matter Burnley' plane banner

The leaders of four of the five parties on Burnley Borough Council have signed a joint statement condemning the flying of a "white lives matter Burnley" banner over the Etihad Stadium.

By Dominic Collis
Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 12:30 pm

The statement was signed by Labour's Coun. Mark Towsend, Burnley and Padiham Independent Party's Mark Payne, the Liberal Democrat Gordon Birtwistle and the Green Party's Andrew Fewings.

It was not however, signed by the new Conservative group leader, Coun. Alan Hosker, who has previosuly represented UKip and the Brexit Party. The Burnley Express understands he refused to sign it and has been approached for comment.

Burnley's Conservative MP Antony Higginbotham had earlier condemned the aeroplane banner and said those responsible should be ashamed of their desire to divide people.

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Burnley Town Hall

The joint council leaders' statement reads: "We were shocked to see the events at the Etihad Stadium and fully support the statement issued by Burnley Football Club and the words of the captain Ben Mee condemning the actions of a mindless few.

"Whilst we have our differences politically we are united along with the football club and the overwhelming majority of supporters and residents in doing everything we can to eradicate racism and discrimination from our town.

"The councillors, council officers, the football club, voluntary organisations and residents have done a fantastic job over the last two decades working across communities to build a better Burnley. This incident makes us even more determined to continue this important work.

"We are united and proud to say that Black Lives Matter."