Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said he wouldn't be taking a knee in support of racial equality.
The opposition Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this month.
But the UK prime minister said he wouldn't be "bullied" into doing the same.
"I don't believe in gestures — I believe in substance," Johnson told the radio station LBC.
He acknowledged having appointed no Black people to his Cabinet.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he won't be "bullied" into taking a knee in support of racial-equality protests because "I don't believe in gestures."
The opposition Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, was pictured in June taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speaking on LBC radio on Friday morning, Johnson said he wouldn't do the same because "I don't believe in gestures — I believe in substance."
The UK prime minister added that he would not be "bullied" into taking part.
"I don't want people to be bullied into doing things they don't necessarily want to do," he told LBC's Nick Ferrari.
Taking a knee became associated with the worldwide protests following George Floyd's killing at least in part because it was how the NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick silently protested police brutality and racial inequality before NFL games in the 2016 season.
Johnson also said it was wrong for some police officers to have taken a knee during recent protests, however, adding that they had felt pressured into it.
The prime minister was also pushed on the fact that he had not appointed any Black people to his Cabinet. The sole Black member of Johnson's senior team was removed after last year's general election.
Johnson replied that "I put my hands up" on the issue and promised to do more to form a representative government in the future.
Watch Boris Johnson refuse to take a knee:
—LBC News (@LBCNews) July 3, 2020
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