David Cameron has launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump, accusing the US president of “undermining democracy” with his attacks on the media.
In his first UK speech since leaving Downing St last year, the former prime minister said Mr Trump’s tactic of dismissing criticism as “fake news” was weakening the West.
“When Donald Trump uses the term ‘fake news’ to describe CNN and the BBC, that is not just a questionable political tactic, it’s actually dangerous,” Mr Cameron told a conference arranged by anti-corruption group Transparency International.
“President Trump, fake news is not broadcasters criticising you, it’s Russian bots and trolls targeting your democracy, pumping out untrue stories day after day, night after night,” he added.
“When you misappropriate the term fake news, you are deflecting attention from real abuses. Ignoring what’s happening on social media is facilitating a form of corruption that is undermining democracy.”
Trump is expected to visit the UK in February next year to mark the opening of a new US embassy in London, although it is set to be a brief stay rather than a full state visit.
In his speech Cameron also hit out at the EU for being “far too slow” to deal with Russian interference in eastern Europe.
“Barack Obama used to challenge European leaders over how we seemed to ignore or even tolerate Russian subversion of some eastern European business, energy, media or even political interests,” he said.
“He was bang on target.”