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London mayor Sadiq Khan urges UK’s May to cancel Trump state visit

The mayor of London on Thursday added his voice to calls for President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain to be canceled over his retweets of a British far-right group.

world Updated: Nov 30, 2017 16:56 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, London
London,Sadiq Khan,Donald Trump
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks after meeting victims and volunteers of the Grenfell apartment tower fire at a church in north Kensington, London, Britain, June 18, 2017.(REUTERS File Photo)

The mayor of London on Thursday added his voice to calls for President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain to be canceled over his retweets of a British far-right group.

Sadiq Khan said Trump has promoted “a vile, extremist group” and an official visit by him to Britain “would not be welcomed.”

Trump’s retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from far-right group Britain First has been widely condemned in Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said the president was wrong to have done it.

In response, Trump urged May to focus on “the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” rather than on him.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Thursday repeated the government’s view that Trump had been “wrong” to retweet the videos.

“I hope the prime minister’s comments will have some impact on the president,” she said.

Rudd told lawmakers that “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right.”

“This government will not tolerate any groups that spread hate by demonizing those of other faiths or ethnicities,” she said.

May has sought to cultivate a close relationship with Trump, visiting him in Washington days after his inauguration in January and extending the offer of a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Amid mounting calls for the visit to be canceled, Rudd said the invitation had been accepted and the visit was planned, though “the dates and the precise arrangements have yet to be agreed.”

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 16:56 IST