Sadiq Khan, the progressive mayor of London who has emerged as an international player thanks to his prominent role in the world city, recently doubled down on his fervent anti-Trump rhetoric by suggesting that President Donald Trump “would not be welcomed” in the United Kingdom during a scheduled visit early next year.
The remarks surfaced in response to a “Question to the Mayor,” a public forum arranged by the London Assembly to give residents an opportunity to interface with the mayor’s office. One petitioner asked: “What will you do to make the President of the United States, our greatest friend and ally, feel welcome when he comes to visit London in February 2018?”
Khan fired back by reaffirming his commitment to “always speak up to protect the interests and security of Londoners” before tearing into Trump for his controversial social media presence.
“I have previously called on Theresa May to cancel her ill-judged offer of a state visit to President Trump,” he said. “After the latest incident, where President Trump used twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country, it is clear that any official visit here would not be welcomed.”
The mayor was referring to Trump’s retweets of Britain First videos that purportedly featured violent acts committed by Muslims. Their authenticity has been widely disputed.
“Many Brits who love both America and Americans, as I do, will see recent comments made by President Trump as hardly in tune with the special relationship between our two countries,” Khan continued. “London is a beacon of tolerance, acceptance and diversity, and Mr Trump has demonstrated time and time again that his views are completely incompatible with the values Londoners hold dear.”
Khan raised eyebrows – in his home country and beyond – when he suggested last year that the threat of terror attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city.”