BBC bosses have told their journalists not to back the Black Lives Matter campaign.

In an email to staff, the broadcaster said it is "not neutral on racism" but urged employees not to publicly back specific anti-racism campaigns like Black Lives Matter on social media or at protests in case it undermines public trust.

The email said: "The killing of George Floyd continues to affect many of us. The aftermath of the killing has reverberated not just in the USA, but in the UK too - and caused us to consider some uncomfortable truths about our own history, how BAME colleagues feel about living in the UK and how they feel about the BBC.

"These are not new issues of course and there is enormous frustration about the time that it's taken to address them.

READ MORE: READ: Full email saying BBC journalists can't support Black Lives Matter

"In BBC News, we have a responsibility to help everyone understand the context, what's happened, and the consequences. Our output has been challenging and evocative, and it's led to many questions.

"A number of these questions go to the heart of how we practice our journalism in BBC News. Are our editorial values, which are based on due impartiality, outdated? Do they allow us to tell the truth?

"The BBC is not neutral on racism – it's something we've been very clear about. We deplore it and call it out where we see it – as we have done in our reporting of events in the US.

"Our opposition to racism is a fundamental democratic principle - and so is consistent with the BBC's editorial guidelines. However, once opposition to racism becomes aligned with a particular campaign, we begin to express a view about what the response to racism should be. And this gets us into areas where we have to be impartial."

The email went on to say that the opinions of staff should not be expressed "in ways that can be identified by audiences".

It added: "It's not that we can't have opinions – it's just that we can't express them in ways that can be identified by audiences. For News journalists, it means we can't publicly support campaigns, whether through social media, articles, speeches or by attending demonstrations."

It comes as Black Lives Matter protests across the globe have thrust the UK's history into the spotlight once again – with thousands taking to the our streets and parks joining calls from around the world for racial equality.

The catalyst for the growing unrest was the death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd in Minnesota, when a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

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