British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said President Donald Trump was “wrong” to retweet three unverified anti-Muslim videos from the leader of a British far-right group.
“It is wrong for the President to have done this,” May’s spokesman said of the videos Trump retweeted from Jayda Fransen, deputy head of Britain First.
Fransen claimed the videos show violence ignited by an “Islamist mob,” a “Muslim” and a “Muslim migrant.” Those claims are unsubstantiated.
“Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions,” May’s spokesman said. “They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right.”
Britain First has campaigned against the construction and expansion of mosques in the U.K., and has pushed for halal meat to be banned in the country. Trump himself has a long record of dubious anti-Muslim and nativist claims, not least his three attempts to block travelers from majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Witnesses said the man who killed Jo Cox, a Labour Party legislator who was murdered a week before Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, shouted “Britain first!” several times as he attacked Cox. The group said it had no connection to Cox’s murder.
Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, also criticized Trump for retweeting the posts on Wednesday.
“Spreading hatred has consequences,” he tweeted. “The President should be ashamed of himself.”
Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) November 29, 2017