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London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who has seen two terror attacks in the city since he took office in May 2016 — has called for the state visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to be cancelled after the president slammed Khan for telling Londoners there is “no reason to be alarmed” following Saturday’s terror attack.
Mr. Khan made the comments on Channel 4 News, saying the president’s policies — his proposed temporary travel ban on immigration from six Middle Eastern nations on grounds of securing the safety of American citizens — “go[es] against everything we stand for”.
“I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” he said.
“When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
This is not the first time the London mayor has called for the offer of a state visit to be rescinded.
In January, Mayor Khan called on the Government to rescind its offer of a full state visit to President Trump whilst the president stands by his travel ban policy – despite Khan hosting a party with dignitaries from 11 nations that ban entry of Israeli passport holders to their countries.
Britain’s media, including Sky News, have jumped on the comments, quizzing the Prime Minister Theresa May on whether she would support the idea. The PM responded in an answer while campaigning in Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday, stressing the importance of the trans-Atlantic relationship, implying the visit would not be cancelled. She did however call President Trump “wrong” in his criticisms of Mr. Khan.
Following the London Bridge terror attack, which saw seven fatalities and dozens of injuries, Khan, who told Londoners in late 2016 that terrorism is “part and parcel of living in a big city”, urged the city’s residents to not be alarmed.
President Trump condemned Khan for the comments, tweeting: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
He added: “We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse,” and reiterated the need for a travel ban in the U.S. “as an extra level of safety”.
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
President Trump said that the proposed measures, which seek to halt entry to the U.S. for 90 days for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and bar asylum seekers for four months, as essential to prevent attacks in the U.S.
Former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage also slammed Khan for his response to the recent terror attack, saying:
“I understand the mayor wishing to not spread panic but what I would like to hear is him say: ‘As the first Muslim mayor of London, I am going to do all I can to work with the Muslim community to drive out the extremist preachers from our mosques. To do all we can to stop radicalisation happening in schools and in prisons.’
“And I did not hear a single word of that,”Mr. Farage said.