In the wake of the weekend’s terror attacks in London, U.S. President Donald Trump stumbled into yet another controversy when he criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan. President Trump used Twitter to attack Mr. Khan saying that with “at least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'” Trump’s comments came after he misinterpreted Sadiq Khan and took his comments out of context. Mr. Khan had been trying to reassure Londoners that they had no need to be alarmed by the extra numbers of armed police deployed in the wake of the terrorist attack on Saturday evening.
Trump followed up by saying that it was a “pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement.” President Trump went on to say that the mainstream media were “working hard” to spin the story against him.
Khan was interviewed early this morning on the BBC’s Breakfast News show and was asked directly whether President Trump was welcome in the city. Khan repeated calls for Trump’s state visit to the U.K. to be canceled and was critical of the president.
“We will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our oldest and closest allies.
“Our special relationship with the U.S. means that we will stand up and speak out when something is wrong, and Donald Trump is wrong about many things. He is wrong about his travel ban on Muslims, and he is wrong about many other things.”
Khan’s comments followed up on calls he made last night. He has asked British Prime Minister Theresa May to withdraw the offer of a state visit by Trump.
Should Britain Cancel The State Visit By Donald Trump?
As reported in The Guardian, Khan appeared on Channel 4 News last evening and said that Trump’s state visit should not go ahead.
“I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.
“When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
With the U.K. general election just two days away, Sadiq Khan did not just have Donald Trump in his sights. As reported by the BBC, Khan also accused Theresa May of endangering the U.K. by cutting police numbers. Theresa May was the U.K.’s Home Secretary before she became prime minister. In that role, May was directly responsible for the U.K. police service. According to fact checking organization Full Fact, May has reduced police numbers from 144,000 to 123,000 since 2010.
As many will know, U.K. police are not routinely armed and routinely patrol solo. Patrol officers are supported by a relatively small number of specially trained firearms officers. Only around five percent of U.K. police officers are authorized to carry firearms. That number has fallen from 7,000 to 6,300 since 2010.
President Trump has been widely criticized around the world for his attack on Sadiq Khan and for trying to use the London attack to justify his proposed travel ban. According to Sky News, the mayors of 1,400 U.S. cities have spoken out in support of Mr. Khan.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors said it stood “united with Mayor Sadiq Khan of London and the people of London,” and they praised his handling of the crisis.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio summed up the feelings of many when he said: “Mayor Sadiq Khan is doing an extraordinary job supporting Londoners in a time of pain. President Trump’s attack on him is unacceptable.”
[Featured Image by Alastair Grant/AP]