President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. AP Photo - Evan Vucci

Brits hit back at ‘vile’ Trump

UK POLITICIANS have called for President Trump's state visit to be cancelled after he retweeted a fringe political movement and attacked Prime Minister Theresa May online.

On Thursday, Ms May said: "I'm very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do." However she maintained the invitation for a state visit remained open.

It echoes comments she made via a spokesman on Wednesday when she said Trump's decision to retweet three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, was "wrong".

That remark provoked a backlash from the US leader who took aim at the US' closest ally on Twitter saying: "Don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!"

His first tweet went to the wrong Theresa May - a woman who had just six followers. That was quickly deleted and reposted at the correct account.

Trump's actions prompted huge criticism in the UK where Britain First is regarded as an extreme, right-wing fringe political group that peddles anti-immigrant sentiment on social media.

It has also sparked huge debate about whether he should be afforded a state visit and is a "fit person to meet the Queen." UK MPs called for his Twitter account to be deleted or removed.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is a Muslim and has had high-profile clashes with Trump before following terror attacks, said a visit from the US leader "would not be welcomed".

"President Trump used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

"Many Brits who love America and Americans will see this as a betrayal of the special relationship between our two countries. It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn't see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that make Britain so great.

"The Prime Minster of our country should be using any influence she and her government claim to have with the President and his administration to delete these tweets and to apologise to the British people."


Conservative politician Sajid Javid also said he would "refuse to let it go".

"So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing," he tweeted.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd reiterated that Trump was "wrong" to share the tweets, but said it shouldn't cloud the "bigger picture" between the US and UK.

"This government will not tolerate any groups who spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities," she said.

"It's interesting to note [Mr Bone's] advice regarding Twitter accounts - I'm sure many of us might share his view."

At least one of the videos Trump tweeted has been proven to be fake news, however the President has refused to clarify his comments. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump's comments despite the video being proven fake, saying: "the threats are real - no matter how you look at it."

Theresa May's spokesman said she is fully focused on tackling extremism.

"The overwhelming majority of Muslims in this country are law-abiding people who abhore extremism in all its forms. The prime minister has been clear ... that where Islamist extremism does exist it should be tackled head on. We are working hard to do that both at home and internationally and ... with our US partners," the spokesman said.

The UK and the US have a "special relationship" trumpeted by both sides as the bedrock of global stability and Theresa May was the first leader to invite Trump to visit following his election.

However the controversial decision to offer a state visit sparked huge debate in the UK and has been pushed back to an unknown date amid fears of large-scale protests.