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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Trump blames UK crime rise on ‘radical Islam’ in tweet, sparking outrage

‘Stay out of our business’, British people told the US President

US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage by linking a government report on an increase in UK crime to "radical Islamic". REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage by linking a government report on an increase in UK crime to "radical Islamic". REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Donald Trump has blamed an uptick in British crime on “radical Islamic terror”, causing a backlash as it appeared to misrepresent an official report.

“Just out report: "United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror." Not good, we must keep America safe!” the US President tweeted on Friday.

The comments came after Britain’s Office for National Statistics released a document on Friday which showed a 13 per cent increase in police-reported crime incidents from the previous year in England and Wales.

The report says the uptick "reflects a range of factors," including an increase in incidents, improvements to how crimes are recorded and more victims coming forward.

The report makes no link between rising crime and “radical Islamic terror”, although it does note that there was a “substantial increase” - 59 per cent - in the number of attempted murder offences over the past year, due largely to the London and Manchester terror attacks.

The tweet was met with immediate outrage in the UK.

Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, had this to say: “Stop misleading and spreading fear. Hate crime is up and it is fuelled by the kind of populist xenophobia you peddle.”

Labour MP Chris Bryant said: “Can you please stick out of our business with such divisiveness? You clearly don’t understand difference between causation and correlation.”

Meanwhile, Labour and Co-operative MP Anna Turley urged Number 10 to correct the "lies" or withdraw the invitation for Trump to visit Britain.

Earlier this week, a top UK intelligence chief did warn of a surge in Islamist terror in the country.

Andrew Parker, director-general of MI5, said: "It is clear that we are contending with an intense UK terrorist threat from Islamist extremists."

It was not clear what source Trump was quoting, as the line on Islamic terror does not appear in Friday’s report by the ONS.