London mayor urges cancellation of Trump’s planned UK visit
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London mayor urges cancellation of Trump’s planned UK visit

Following row in wake of terror attack, Sadiq Khan says Britain shouldn't 'roll out red carpet' to president whose 'policies go against everything we stand for'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks at a vigil in Potters Fields Park in London on June 5, 2017 to commemorate the victims of the terror attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market that killed seven people on June 3. (AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks at a vigil in Potters Fields Park in London on June 5, 2017 to commemorate the victims of the terror attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market that killed seven people on June 3. (AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas)

LONDON, United Kingdom — London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on the UK government on Monday to cancel a state visit by US President Donald Trump following a public row, mainly on Twitter, over the weekend terror attack in the British capital.

“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,” Khan told Channel 4 on Monday.

“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,” he said.

Trump is expected to visit the UK later this year.

In a series of tweets in recent days, Trump criticized Khan’s leadership after the attack on Saturday in which three terrorists rammed a van into pedestrians on the London Bridge and then jumped out and proceeded to stab passersby and bar patrons, killing seven people and injuring dozens.

US President Donald Trump stands with British Prime Minister Theresa May next to a bust of former British prime minister Winston Churchill on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
US President Donald Trump stands with British Prime Minister Theresa May next to a bust of former British prime minister Winston Churchill on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Khan had told Londoners there was “no reason to be alarmed” about an increased police presence in the coming days following the attack, a remark Trump mischaracterized in a Sunday tweet, suggesting the mayor had said there was “no reason to be alarmed” about the attack itself.

Khan’s spokesman said he was too busy to respond to Trump’s “ill-informed” tweet and Khan later told the BBC that “some people thrive on feud and division. We are not going to let Donald Trump divide our communities.”

“Honestly, I’ve got better and more important things to focus on,” he told Sky News.

But the US president renewed his attack on Monday, accusing London’s first Muslim mayor of offering a “pathetic excuse” and “had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement.”

The war of words was the latest episode in a long simmering feud between Trump and Khan, who was elected as London’s mayor in May 2016. After his election last year, Khan tweeted criticism of then-candidate Trump’s rhetoric, saying that his “ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe. It risks alienating mainstream Muslims.” Trump later challenged Khan to an IQ test during an interview on ITV.

The acting US ambassador to the UK, Lewis Lukens, meanwhile appeared to distance himself from Trump’s initial tweet, writing on Sunday: “I commend the strong leadership of the mayor of London as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan (C), Home Secretary Amber Rudd (R) and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (L) hold flowers at Potters Fields Park in London on June 5, 2017, during a vigil to commemorate the victims of the terror attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market that killed seven people on June (AFP PHOTO / Niklas HALLE'N)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan (C), Home Secretary Amber Rudd (R) and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (L) hold flowers at Potters Fields Park in London on June 5, 2017, during a vigil to commemorate the victims of the terror attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market that killed seven people on June 3, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Niklas HALLE’N)

Trump has leaped on the London attacks as evidence of the need for hardline security measures in the United States, including a ban on travelers from some Muslim countries.

He followed that up Monday by doubling down on the alleged need for a travel ban, tweeting: That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!

His comments caused outrage among British officials.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was among those who came to Khan’s defense, though she declined to criticize Trump over the row.

“I think Sadiq Khan is doing a good job and it’s wrong to say anything else — he’s doing a good job,” she told a press conference on Monday.

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