The leader of Harrow Council said he “stands with the Black Lives Matter movement” as protests continue following the death of George Floyd.

Cllr Graham Henson released a statement in support of those campaigning against racism and said the council will always be in favour of togetherness as opposed to division.

It comes as protesters around the world voiced their anger and sadness at the death of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American who was arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis.

Footage of the arrest on May 25 shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck while he was pinned to the floor.

Mr Chauvin, 44, has since been charged with murder.

Cllr Henson said: “George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police in Minnesota has highlighted the deep inequalities and systemic racism that still exists in many countries.

“The shocking and heart-breaking video shared around the world has left many of our residents hurt, scared and angry. I share your feelings.

“We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and those protesting peacefully against racism across the world.

“In Harrow we have worked hard with all our diverse communities to build a cohesive borough and make it the place where we are all proud to live and work, without fear.

“Our strength is in our togetherness – we must never allow hatred and racism to divide us.

“Just as we came together to support each other through the Covid-19 pandemic, we also come together against racism and the hatred it represents; we will not tolerate any form of discrimination; we will continue to challenge racism, discrimination and inequality.”

In support of the cause that has swept across the world honouring Mr Floyd, Brent Council lit up its civic centre in purple.

This show of solidarity was repeated across several municipal buildings in the UK and was also seen as a way of condemning the “appalling, brutal and callous” nature of Mr Floyd’s death.

A spokesperson for Brent Council said: “This all comes at a time when we know that Brent and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have been very badly impacted by Covid-19.

“It all paints a very gloomy picture which needs to be addressed internationally, nationally, regionally and locally. We will play our full part.

“We in Brent – both as a community and as a council – are very proud of our diversity.

“We will not tolerate such lack of respect and brutality in our borough. Let’s all stand together at such a very difficult time.”