British foreign affairs think tank is accused of wokery after it gives awards to climate activist Greta Thunberg and co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter
- Prestigious and respected Chatham House handed out three Centenary Awards
- Brendan Clarke-Smith, Tory MP for Bassetlaw, accused the think tank of ‘wokery’
- Mark Lehain, director of the Campaign for Common Sense said BLM was divisive
Britain’s most prestigious foreign affairs think-tank was last night accused of becoming the latest institution in thrall to ‘woke culture’ after giving awards to a Black Lives Matter leader and Greta Thunberg.
Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, has made three Centenary Awards ‘recognising outstanding contributions to confronting the critical challenges facing the world today’.
The Centenary Changemakers Award went to Ms Thunberg, 18, the Swedish activist challenging world leaders to avert climate change, while the Centenary Diversity Champion Award went to Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter.
The movement was formed to protest against police brutality and violence against black people, but critics say it has led to the silencing of free speech, with academics hesitant to talk about restricted freedoms in case its followers target them.
The institute said the award recognised ‘the momentous work Black Lives Matter has done towards empowering black people and promoting a more inclusive approach to race in policy-making.
The Centenary Changemakers Award went to Greta Thunberg (pictured), 18, the Swedish activist challenging world leaders to avert climate change
The Centenary Diversity Champion Award went to Melina Abdullah (pictured), co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter
‘The movement has brought global attention to systemic injustice against black lives’.
But Brendan Clarke-Smith, Tory MP for Bassetlaw, said: ‘When the world faces tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and our brilliant scientists have given us light at the end of the tunnel, we see another exercise in recognising wokery above real achievement.
‘We should be focusing on bringing people together, not giving awards to those who seek to cause division, such as BLM and its promoters.
‘I see no such recognition of normalisation of relations in the Middle East or building bridges between North and South Korea. Perhaps this doesn’t tick the right boxes.’
Mark Lehain, director of the Campaign for Common Sense, said: ‘It’s really sad to see Chatham House recognise an organisation as divisive as Black Lives Matter.
‘Far from bringing people together… BLM’s extremism has set race relations back.’
Sir David Attenborough won the Centenary Lifetime Award.
Chatham House director Dr Robin Niblett said the winners ‘demonstrate a shared commitment to building a more sustainable and inclusive world’.