- Jack Taylor / Getty
The Mayor of London calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel US President Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK. Khan says UK should not be afraid to “call [the US] out when they’re wrong”. Khan is backed by other opposition leaders. Trump brands Khan’s response “pathetic.” Foreign secretary Boris Johnson says state visit will go ahead.
LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May must cancel US President Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK, Sadiq Khan said today, following the US president’s latest outburst at the Mayor of London in the wake of the terror attacks on the city.
Trump is due to be granted a formal state visit to the UK in October but has in recent days embarked in a series of Twitter attacks on Khan.
In the hours following the attack that killed 7 people and left dozens seriously injured, Trump suggested that Khan had told Londoners “not to be alarmed” about the attack.
When Khan’s spokesperson pointed out that these comments were in fact in relation to the increased armed police presence on the streets, Trump branded it a “pathetic excuse” which was being pushed by the “MSM” (mainstream media).
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
Asked about the president’s latest comments, Khan said on Tuesday that Britain should no longer be willing to “roll out the red carpet” for Trump later this year.
“When Theresa May first invited him on a state visit to our country at a time when he was proposing a travel ban on Muslims and changing the American policy on refugees, I said it was inappropriate to be rolling out the red carpet for Donald Trump,” he told the BBC.
“Nothing’s changed my mind.”
His comments were backed by his colleague Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as well as Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
Prime Minister was also repeatedly asked to condemn Trump’s comments yesterday. However, while backing Khan as “doing a very good job” for London, May refused to explicitly criticise the president.
Khan, who last night held a vigil in memory of those who had died in the attacks, said the UK should not be afraid to openly disagree with the US.
“Of course we should have cordial relations with out closest ally, of course we should have a special relationship, but one of the things about a special relationship is that its like having best mates – you stand shoulder to shoulder with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they’re wrong and there are so many things that Donald Trump is wrong about and in those circumstances I’m not in favour of a state visit.”
However, May’s government today dismissed Khan’s call for the visit to be cancelled.
“The invitation has been issued and accepted and I see no reason to change that,” the foreign secretary Boris Johnson told the Today programme.
Trump’s state visit was postponed earlier this year following a series of huge street protests across the country.
Watch Khan: You will never succeed in dividing our city
— Joe Pickover (@JPickover) June 5,2017
Khan has received widespread support in recent days, including from the US embassy in London.
“I commend the strong leadership of the @MayorofLondon as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack,” the acting ambassador, Lewis Lukens, tweeted on Sunday.
— U.S. Embassy London (@USAinUK) June 4, 2017
However Luken’s comments were condemned by former Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.
“THIS is why @POTUS needs loyal staff that understands we’re at war! Why is Obama Admin still in place? #shakeitup” she tweeted on Monday.