LONDON: Sadiq Khan has spoken of his recent spat with Donald Trump, accusing the US President of acting like a “12-year-old” and breaking “basic” political rules.
In an in-depth interview with The New Yorker the London Mayor discusses his now-infamous tussle with the US President in the wake of the London Bridge terrorist attack.
Khan said: “The basic rule amongst politicians and amongst leaders is a sense of solidarity- it is almost like our version of NATO’s Article 5.
“So I was extremely surprised when the President of the USA, our strongest ally, said what he said.
“It was disappointing, to be honest.”
Khan was then asked if knows why he had “got under Trump’s skin”, to which he replied: “The short answer is I don’t know, but I can understand if we were both aged twelve years old.”
Hours after seven people were killed by three terrorists in June, Khan issued a statement saying there was “no reason to be alarmed” by an increased police presence in the capital over the coming days.
But Trump twisted his words to reference the number of people killed and injured by the terrorists, tweeting:
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
When asked about the tweet by Sky News, Khan simply said he had “better and more important things to focus on” then Trump.
Sadiq Khan says he has “better and more important things to focus on” than Donald Trump’s tweets pic.twitter.com/1FplRVNwoY
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 5, 2017
Trump fired back:
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
Trump’s tweets caused outrage in both the UK and the US.
Trump: sucks up to Putin; needlessly insults our elected Mayor at a time of national tragedy. https://t.co/FgrJ7rX6ff
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) June 5, 2017
please collect your child from the party he has wet himself for attention https://t.co/xTNAmyX5uI
— Mollie Goodfellow (@hansmollman) June 5, 2017
Why are you attacking the Mayor of London right after a terrorist attack in London??? Just stop.
We support our friends and allies, period. https://t.co/kKXnrZ3iOP
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 5, 2017
A planned state visit by Trump to the UK was previously was quietly scrapped last month amid fears over protests and a petition signed by nearly two million people.
Instead it was reported he would be much more likely to make a last-minute drop-in with less than 24 hours notice in an effort to scupper the planning of demonstrations.
A government source said: “We expect him to go to his golf course. We are aware he might want to see the prime minister. [The Americans] haven’t requested that he comes and we haven’t invited him, but we are aware it might happen.”
Some protestors had even planned to ‘moon’ the president en masse, as part of a campaign called ‘Show your rump to Trump’.
May, who handed over the original invitation when she became the first foreign leader to visit the Trump White House in January, is herself now the target of demonstrations after she lost her Commons majority.
State visit invitations are formally issued by the Queen as she hosts guests at Buckingham Palace and accompanies them in a carriage ride down the Mall.
But some Tory as well as Labour MPs believe that May was misguided in moving so quickly in engineering the trip to the UK to help cement the so-called “special relationship” between the two countries.