Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Donald Trump calls London mayor Sadiq Khan a 'national disgrace'

The US president called for a new mayor after a spate of stabbings

London mayor Sadiq Khan has rallied against the policies of president Donald Trump. AFP
London mayor Sadiq Khan has rallied against the policies of president Donald Trump. AFP

After a violent 24 hours in London marked by a spate of stabbings, US President Donald Trump described the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan as a disaster as he reignited their feud.

In doing so, the US president retweeted the right-wing, anti-Islam campaigner Katie Hopkins, as he told his 61 million followers that Mr Khan was a “national disgrace who is destroying the City of London”.

Mr Trump’s diatribe shared Ms Hopkins’ tweet where she described the capital as “Khan’s Londonistan” – a reference to the so-called Islamification of London.

A highly controversial figure, Ms Hopkins has previously claimed that multiculturalism is causing crime to surge in the UK. She believes a “Muslim mafia” controls parts of the country. Mr Trump has said parts of London were “no-go areas” for police because of the Muslim population.

In less than 24 hours, three people died and another three were injured in five attacks in London. Mr Trump’s ­detractors have long pointed out that, despite a rise in crime in London, murder rates are still much higher in US cities.

Mr Khan has yet to respond directly to Mr Trump, tweeting yesterday that London’s police “have been working tirelessly all over the weekend to help keep our city safe and uphold the law” after a number of arrests were made.

Mr Khan’s spokesman said the mayor’s thoughts were with the victims’ families and he “is not going to waste his time responding to this sort of tweet”.

He received support from his party leader, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who said it was “absolutely awful to see” the US president “using the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the mayor”.

He said Mr Khan was “rightly supporting the police ... while Katie Hopkins spreads hateful and divisive rhetoric. They seek to divide at a time when we need to come together”.

Mr Khan has described the president as having values that are the antithesis of those held by most London residents.

He has been in an almost constant public war of words with the US president. On a recent state visit to the UK, Mr Trump said Mr Khan was a “stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London”.

The London mayor has rallied against the president’s Muslim travel ban and immigration policies that “forcefully separates young children from their parents at the border".

Another point of differences is Mr Trump’s support for Boris Johnson, the former London mayor and now front runner to become the new UK prime minister.

“Safe, big city it was when I used to run it. I can tell you, we got crime down by 20 per cent, we got the murder rate down,” Mr Johnson said recently when launching his campaign. Mr Trump has described him as a friend.

During Mr Trump’s trip to the UK earlier this month, the opposition slammed the government’s decision to grant the president a state visit given his controversial policies and comments.

Updated: June 17, 2019 08:20 AM

SHARE

SHARE