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British PM Rishi Sunak refuses to ‘unpick history’ with slave trade apology and reparations

British PM Rishi Sunak refuses to ‘unpick history’ with slave trade apology and reparations

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rejected calls from the opposition party to apologize for Britain’s role in the slave trade or to discuss reparations.

“What I think we need to focus on now is, of course, understanding our history and all the parts of it, not running away from it, but making sure right now that we have an inclusive and tolerant society with people of all backgrounds. ,” Sunak said last week.

“That’s something that we on this side of the house are committed to and will continue to deliver, but trying to unravel our history is not the right path and it’s not something we’re going to focus our energies on.”

Labor MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy had challenged Sunak to take a more aggressive stance on the issue, noting that past prime ministers and heads of state had only “expressed pain or deep regret” over the issue, The Guardian reported.


His question follows a recent call by descendants of some of Britain’s wealthiest slave traders to start a reparations program to compensate for the “ongoing consequences of this crime against humanity”.

A Labor spokesman said Ribeiro-Addy’s call was not party policy, but party leader Sir Keir Starmer did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital by the time of publication.

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital that this is just a recent topic of discussion for the UK. and the idea that the British government could pay for reparations is “absolutely ridiculous”.

“The British government has no intention of going down that path, and rightly so,” Gardiner said.


“The reality is that Britain was the world leader in the abolition of slavery and the fight against it all over the world, even on the high seas, and invested a great deal of money, hand in hand work and military power to suppress the slave trade So this idea of ​​paying reparations to the UK is completely ridiculous.

“Britain’s role in defeating the slave trade is something the British people are incredibly proud of.”

The slave trade began in 1526 with Portugal’s purchase of West African slaves to transport them across the Atlantic, beginning the transatlantic or triangle slave trade. The first recorded British citizen to buy and sell slaves was John Lok in 1555, followed by William Towerson in 1556.

Britain abolished slavery in the colonies and bought slaves from their owners across the empire in 1833 with the introduction of the Slavery Abolition Act. There have been some exceptions and delays during the process.


2020 Protesters during the global Black Lives Matter protests toppled or defaced statues of famous men involved in the slave trade, such as Bristol’s Edward Colston, whose statues protesters threw into the nearby harbor after to drag her through the streets.

Bernie Grant, a Labor Party politician from Tottenham, London, in his latest session of Prime Minister’s Questions asked whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair would apologize for slavery to people of African descent, living or dead .

Blair said he expressed “deep pain”, then said: “I said we’re sorry and I say it again.”

Labor MPs Clive Lewis and Dawn Butler in March renewed calls for the government to enter into “meaningful negotiations” with the former Caribbean colonies and pay for reparations.

Gardiner labeled these arguments “wrong-headed” and driven by a “far-left ideology” that has “very little public support”.

“It’s not going anywhere,” he said, adding that reparations were “completely unrealistic,” blaming similar calls and discussions in the US for stirring up the idea.

“Those kinds of calls have picked up significantly in the last couple of years, and I think a lot of that is coming from across the Atlantic in the United States, really,” Gardiner said. “I think this is a relatively new development, but there is no chance that a Conservative government would agree to pay for the reparations, and I think it is unlikely that a Labor government would agree either.

“No country in the world did more to fight slavery than the United Kingdom.”

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