Reactions to Trumps tweet to Theresa May after far-right video retweets

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By RAHEEMA KHAN

Donald Trump has attacked Prime Minister Theresa May by publicly telling her to focus on “terrorism” in the UK after she criticised his sharing of far-right videos.

“Theresa@theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” the US president tweeted on Wednesday evening. “We are doing just fine!”

The US president had earlier retweeted three videos posted online by a British far-right group.

Mrs May’s spokesman said it was “wrong for the president to have done this”.

“The US and the UK are close allies and often described as having a “special relationship”. Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit the Trump White House.

The speaker of the House of Commons granted a request for an urgent question on the matter from Labour MP Stephen Doughty.

During the debate, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “British people overwhelmingly reject the rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents. Decency, tolerances, respect – we will stand with them in doing so.

“This house should be clear that this government will not tolerate any groups who spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities and to deliberately raise community fears and tensions.

“We are being clear President Donald Trump was wrong to retweet videos posted by far-right group Britain First.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “President Trump yesterday used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country.

“Many Brits who love America and Americans will see this as a betrayal of the special relationship between our two countries. It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great.

“As the Mayor of this great diverse city, I have previously called on Theresa May to cancel her ill-judged offer of a state visit to President Trump. After this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.

“The Prime Minister of our country should be using any influence she and her government claim to have with the President and his administration to ask him to delete these tweets and to apologise to the British people”

Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid also condemned Donald Trump’s retweet.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government tweeted: tweeted: “So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing.”

Education Secretary Justine Greening, said: “In the end, our relationship with the United States has a longevity to it that will succeed long after presidents come and go.

“I don’t agree with the tweet President Trump has made, but I have to say I also believe it should not distract from the agenda we have domestically, and I don’t believe it should detract from the close relationship the UK has had for many, many years and will go on to have with America and the American people.

“This is a president that behaves unlike any other in the nature of the tweets he puts out. I don’t believe that should be able to undermine an overall important relationship with our country.”

MP Yvette Cooper said: “Agree on the importance of our relationship with the US and our peoples have stood together against far-right extremism, against Islamic extremism and will do so again. That is exactly why we cannot pander now, because Britain First gets its sucker from spreading its poison and its extremism online. That is how it works, and the President of the United States has just given it a rocket boost in promoting hatred in our communities.”

 

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