While Theresa dithers, Trump attacks – fuelling ‘Britain First’ row between UK and US

“Just a reminder of the liklihood of a robust response from our Foreign Secretary to the incontinent tantrum of the President of the United States,” according to cartoonist Martin Rowson.

Weakling UK prime minister Theresa May has still not responded to US President Donald Trump’s decision to retweet hate messages by far-right organisation Britain First.

So Mr Trump has attacked comments by a Downing Street spokesperson who said simply that it was “wrong” to have retweeted the misleading, extremist messages.

The message from Downing Street was: “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect.”

Here’s Mr Trump’s response:

This is a clear endorsement of the hate message put forward in the Britain First tweets.

Mr Trump is urging Mrs May to consider all Muslims in the UK to be potential terrorists and to launch a racist policy against them.

This is utterly unacceptable from a foreign leader. He is trying to divide members of the UK community from the rest of us and accusing them of conspiring against the majority in a way that simply isn’t true, except in a tiny minority of cases. He knows next to nothing about the situation – clearly, as he is getting his information from far-right propaganda-peddlers.

And he is trying hard to make it worse. One has to question his motives, attempting to destabilise the UK at a time when this country’s domestic political situation is already highly-charged.

But still Theresa May remains silent, leaving it to her Downing Street spokespeople – and the public – to comment.

Note that the tweet above is also a retweet – originally Mr Trump sent the message to the wrong Theresa May (from which we may draw our own conclusions about his state of mind):

Mrs May’s deputies, in Parliament, have done their best to cover for her, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd trying to answer an Urgent Question in the Commons – answering the kind of criticism no US president has ever received from Parliament in the past:

Ms Rudd said the Government will not tolerate any groups that spread hate by demonising other faiths or ethnicities – but refused to condemn the US President, saying the UK-US relationship is “vital” and MPs needed to focus on the “bigger picture”.

She would not accept calls to cancel the invitation for Mr Trump to make a state visit to the UK.

But – shockingly – she could not answer a simple question: Whether the UK government had asked for Mr Trump to take the offending tweets down.

As part of the debate, Labour MP Khalid Mahmood made a very useful point, asking the Home Secretary if a Muslim would still be welcome in Britain if they had shared similarly inflammatory material to that posted by the US President.

Depressingly, Mr Trump’s retweets have revived the fortunes of Britain First, the far-right group that originally posted the messages. Deputy leader Jayda Fransen has been interviewed on both the BBC and Channel 4, providing a huge and harmful public platform for the minority organisation’s extremist views.




Meanwhile the condemnation continues to rack up. Here’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was criticised by Mr Trump over his response to terror attacks in the UK’s capital city:

One Comment

  1. NMac December 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    |So much for May’s so-called “special relationship” with the odious and loathsome Trump.

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