UK minister tweets: Where are your manners, Mr President?

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking during a vigil in Trafalgar Square in central London, on March 23, 2017. He has been attacked by US President Donald Trump, who accused him of doing a terrible job in preventing terrorism.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking during a vigil in Trafalgar Square in central London, on March 23, 2017. He has been attacked by US President Donald Trump, who accused him of doing a terrible job in preventing terrorism.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • British politicians expressed outrage yesterday at United States President Donald Trump's attack on the government's Brexit strategy, although one leading eurosceptic said it was "perfectly reasonable".

"Where are your manners, Mr President?" tweeted Universities Minister Sam Gyimah.

Other MPs in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party rounded on the US President for being "determined to insult" her as she hosted him on a trip to Britain.

The opposition Labour Party called him "extraordinarily rude".

"@realDonaldTrump determined to insult our PM," said Ms Sarah Woollaston, a Conservative MP and chairman of Parliament's Health Committee. She attacked his "divisive, dog-whistle rhetoric" on migration, adding: "If signing up to the #Trump world view is the price of a deal, it is not worth paying."

While she noted that Mrs May would probably keep silent, she said: "Many will be cheering if she tells @realDonaldTrump where he can stick his dog whistle."

Ms Emily Thornberry, foreign affairs spokesman for the opposition Labour Party who has herself called Mrs May's Brexit plan a delusion, said Mr Trump had been "extraordinarily rude". "She is his host. What did his mother teach him? This is not the way you behave," she told ITV.

Ms Yvette Cooper, a Labour MP and chairman of Parliament's Home Affairs Committee, said: "Trump's appalling behaviour makes me sympathise with Theresa May... (Until) I remember her desperate rush to invite him, her repeated reluctance to criticise his Muslim ban or caging of children, her chasing him for a bad trade deal... For God's sake, Theresa, stand up to him today."

 
 
 

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband offered some suggestions for Mrs May's response. She could say that "he and I do disagree on some things: His tearing of babies from their parents, his racist attacks on the London mayor, his lies, his admiration for dictators, and I tend to think his combover is an absurdity".

However, eurosceptic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr Trump's remarks on trade were a "perfectly reasonable thing for an American president to say".

Mr Trump also attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying he was doing a terrible job in preventing terrorism and crime. He also criticised the scale of immigration into Europe, and said he was saddened by protests in London, adding that they made him feel unwelcome.

Mr Khan said it was preposterous for Mr Trump to blame a rise in violent crime in the city on immigration."The idea that you can blame this on immigration from Africa is, I think, preposterous, and we should call him out when he does so," Mr Khan told BBC Radio yesterday.

He also noted that many Americans based in London joined the protests against Mr Trump.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2018, with the headline 'UK minister tweets: Where are your manners, Mr President?'. Print Edition | Subscribe