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London’s Mayor Leads Campaign Against US President Trump’s State Visit

Photo: The New Arab

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said that Trump’s action were a “a betrayal of the special relationship between our two countries” as he led renewed calls to scrap the president’s state visit.

The MPs and the Mayor slammed Trump’s support for an aggressive anti-Muslim group. London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said it was “increasingly clear” that any official visit to the UK would not be welcomed.

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

“It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support for this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity.”

Trump was seen retweeting three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy head of British neo-fascist group Britain First.

Trump tweeted to British Prime Minister Theresa May after her initial condemnation, “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.”

May repeated on Thursday that Trump’s actions were wrong, but stressed that the US-UK “special relationship” would endure.

She stood her ground, defending her record on tackling extremism – including by the far right – while emphasising the strength of British-US ties.

“I’m very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do,” May said, describing the group as a “hateful” organisation that “seeks to spread division”.

But she stressed that Britain and America have “a long-term special relationship… it is an enduring relationship that is there because it’s is in both our nations’ interests”.

May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after his success at Presidential election and even offered him a prestigious state visit to Britain including a welcome by Queen Elizabeth II.

However, her invitation has received flak.

Local Government Minister Sajid Javid said Trump had “endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me”.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt added that Trump’s tweets were “alarming and despairing”, while angry opposition MPs called Interior Minister Amber Rudd to make an emergency statement to the House of Commons.

Addressing lawmakers, Rudd asked them to “look at the wider picture”, saying UK-US intelligence sharing had “undoubtedly saved British lives”.

British politicians have urged for shutting down of Trump’s twitter account. British MPs say that Donald Trump should delete his Twitter account. If he won’t get rid of his profile, then Twitter should do it for him, various politicians said in Parliament.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said: “One of the advantages of having such a special relationship with the United States is that when a friend tells us we have done something dreadfully wrong, we tend to listen.

“Would not the world be a better place if the Prime Minister could persuade the President of the United States to delete his Twitter account?”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson late on Wednesday reiterated the hate speech touted by Britain First.

British ambassador to the US also raised concerns over Trump’s tweets.

While former president Barack Obama’s foreign policy adviser had a warning about Trump.

Even the Dutch embassy in the US stepped into the row.

Britain First, a small group with no political representation and best known for aggressive picketing outside mosques, has hailed Trump for his support.

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