London Mayor: Any Official Trump Visit To Britain ‘Would Not Be Welcomed’

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The mayor of London is calling on Britain’s prime minister to cancel any official visits from President Donald Trump and to ask Trump to delete anti-Islam videos he shared on Twitter Wednesday.

“As the mayor of this great diverse city, I have previously called on Theresa May to cancel her ill-judged offer of a state visit to President Trump. After this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement posted on Twitter Thursday.

“The prime minister of our country should be using any influence she and her government claim to have with the President and his administration to ask him to delete these tweets and to apologise to the British people,” he continued.

On Wednesday, Trump shared three unverified anti-Muslim videos on Twitter that were posted by Jayda Fransen, a leader of the far-right fringe group Britain First. Fransen was recently convicted of religiously aggravated harassment. The videos — which have been mostly debunked — supposedly show acts of violence that Fransen claimed was ignited by Muslims.

Khan, who is Muslim, said the President had used his influential Twitter account to “promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country” and said that many see the President’s actions as a “betrayal” of the relationship between the two countries.

“It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that make Britain so great,” he said.

The group Britain First is known for combatting what it calls the “Islamization” of Britain and has also campaigned against the building of new mosques. The group has also launched several unsuccessful political campaigns.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “wrong” for Trump to share the inflammatory videos. Trump responded Wednesday night, telling May to focus the “Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom” instead of criticizing him. The White House claims the videos, while possibly fake, represent the “real threat” to national security that the President is concerned about.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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