LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has sided with U.S. President Donald Trump over his racist attacks on Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London and has said he shares the same understanding of the president.
The foreign secretary defended Trump and refused to criticise him for attacking Khan and retweeting a post by the racist and far-right commentator Katie Hopkins who also took to Twitter lobby racist remarks to the mayor.
“President Trump has his own style and I wouldn’t use those words myself,” Hunt told The Independent newspaper.
“…But the sentiment is enormous disappointment that we have a Mayor of London who has completely failed to tackle knife crime and spent more time on politics than the actual business of making Londoners safer,” Hunt added.
The foreign secretary, who is also one of the Conservative leadership contenders, said that he “150 per cent” agrees with the president on his opinion of Khan and his tenure as mayor of London.
Hunt’s comments, however, have received an immediate backlash with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) labelling his comments as “disgusting” which further highlights the rampant Islamophobia within the Tory party.
“This is disgusting & it should be disqualifying for any potential PM to agree with the “sentiment” of an attack which includes the quoting of the Islamophobia of the vile Katie Hopkins,” Miqdaad Versi, the MCB’s spokesman, said on Twitter.
“Is Islamophobia so endemic in the party that the foreign secretary tolerates it so easily?” Versi added.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) criticised the government for not condemning Trump over his remarks previously. “Silence on the issue is unacceptable for Muslim communities across the country, and demonstrates an alarming tolerance of Islamophobia in our country,” it said.
London mayor Sadiq Khan also accused Trump of giving a platform to far-right activists and positioning himself as the “poster boy” for racists saying that “my concern isn’t that he’s obsessed with me, my concern is the amplification of a racist tweet that normalises racism – and that’s wrong”.
Continuing his practice of using disreputable sources, Trump retweeted a post by controversial right-wing British media personality Katie Hopkins blaming a series of casualties in the city on Khan.
“LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!” Trump wrote on 15 June, days after his official tour to the city.
In her post, Hopkins claimed in 20 hours, two people were stabbed to death, one shot dead, and three others injured in London.
“This is Khan’s Londonistan,” she said, using the term to defame the capital’s large Muslim population. She also called London a “stab-city”. (AA)