A BLACK Lives Matters protest planned in Taunton has been postponed amid fears it could spread the coronavirus.

The event had been due to take place on Friday lunchtime in the town's Vivary Park.

A spokesman for BLM Taunton said the decision had been taken "due to increasing concerns of Covid-19 and the R - (the rate of infection) - reaching one in the South West".

He added: "This was not an easy decision and we are working on a virtual alternative.

"We will announced a new date as soon as it becomes safer."

Thousands of people attended a BLM protest in Bristol yesterday (Sunday), when a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into the river, while another one commemorating Sir Winston Churchill was defaced.

Police were only able to look on as a large number of the protesters defied lockdown rules.

The organisers of the Taunton event had been keen to protect the health and safety of everyone attending the planned Vivary Park event.

They had asked everyone to adhere to social distancing rules and to take PPE.

But they have now decided the risks of passing on the virus are too high to allow the event to go ahead.

Black Lives Matter protests have been held across the UK, the USA and the rest of the world.

It follows the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Mr Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the street