LONDON: Theresa May defended the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan after he was mocked by Donald Trump for his response to the London terror attack. The PM said Sadiq Khan is doing an ‘excellent job’ and they are working together closely the wake of Saturday night’s terror atrocity.
But she failed three times to directly criticise the US President over his tweet, in which he said: ‘At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’
The US President’s tweet sparked a fierce backlash in Britain as critics were quick to point out that he had taken Mr Khan’s comments out of context. The mayor was urging Londoners not to be alarmed at the increased police presence which has been laid on in the wake of the slaughter.
And the President sparked a fresh wave of anger today by posting another tweet attacking Mr Khan. He wrote: ‘Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM (mainstream media) is working hard to sell it!’
Asked about the row after a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall this morning, Mrs May said: ‘I think Sadiq is doing an excellent job.’ Mr Khan has been alongside the PM at the two Cobra meetings – which includes government ministers and intelligence chiefs – held in the past two days.
But asked directly if she would welcome a ‘period of silence’ from Mr Trump, the PM dodged the question. She said: ‘I’m very clear that Sadiq is doing a good job as Mayor of London, we are working with him, working together.
‘And that’s important – central government and the London mayoralty and his officials working together to ensure that we are responding to the attack and looking at the work the police is going to give the public extra protection and reassurance.’
Mrs May was forced to deny claims that she will not publicly criticise Mr Trump. She said: ‘Well I’ve been very clear – I’ve been very happy to say I think President Trump is wrong to have taken America out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
‘The United Kingdom stays in it and we believe it is an important international agreement. So I’m not afraid to say when I think President Trump is getting things wrong.’
Mr Khan’s spokeswoman has issued a withering response to Mr Trump’s ciriticism. Responding to the latest tweet today, she said: ‘Nothing has changed since yesterday.
‘The mayor is focused on dealing with Saturday’s horrific and cowardly attack and working with the police, the emergency services and the Government to keep London safe.’
Yesterday she said Mr Khan has ‘more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet’. Mr Trump’s attack on the Mayor of London has sparked fresh calls for his state visit later this year to be cancelled.