Khan calls for cancellation of Trump state visit

The Mayor of London has also waded into the discussion on

Khan calls for cancellation of Trump state visit

Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on the UK government to cancel an upcoming state visit from US President Donald Trump, following his comments on a recent spate of terror attacks.

Trump criticised the mayor's response to the crisis on Twitter, misinterpreting the statement made directly after the London Bridge attack. 

Expressing grief. Khan vowed that the terrorists “would not win”. Khan then added: “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”

Trump seemed to interpret that as suggesting Londoners should not be alarmed by terrorism.

“At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!” Trump tweeted.

Khan’s office initially responded by saying he had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks”.

Hours later, Trump retorted: “Pathetic excuse by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. [Mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!”

Speaking to Channel 4 News last night, Khan said Trump was wrong about “many things” and that his state visit should not go ahead.

“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.”

Police cuts

Khan also waded into the row over police cuts, warning the Metropolitan Police is facing the loss of thousands of frontline officers under Tory plans.

Mr Khan said the force could lose as many as 12,800 officers, which would reduce its strength by 40%, making it harder to tackle the terrorism threat.

The Labour mayor said the Met had already had to make £600m of cuts since 2010 and is now facing £400m more.

He said: "Our city has suffered two awful terrorist attacks since I was elected as mayor - and we must do everything possible to stop there being any more.

"Police officers in our communities act as the eyes and ears of the security services, providing the intelligence and information that allow us to disrupt attempted terrorist attacks.

"Cuts on this scale would make it harder to foil future terrorist attacks on our city - and as the mayor of London

I'm simply not willing to stand by and let that happen."

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a speech at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in central London on the General Election campaign trail. Image:  Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Mr Khan's comments will heap pressure on Theresa May, whose record as Home Secretary is under scrutiny in the wake of the terror attacks.

At the Home Office, Mrs May oversaw cuts of 20,000 officers despite warnings from the Police Federation, which she accused of "crying wolf".

Earlier this week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for her resignation over the issue.

But the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to say she was wrong to make the cuts while she was Home Secretary and insisted counter-terrorism budgets had been protected.

 

Mrs May has said President Trump was "wrong" to criticise Mr Khan.

"I think Sadiq Khan is doing a good job and it's wrong to say anything else - he's doing a good job," she said.

Additional reporting from IRN