A senior British Cabinet minister has refused to criticise Donald Trump after a recording emerged of the US presidential candidate endorsing the groping of women.
Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said he would work with Mr Trump if he won the presidential election next month and that he did not want to “intervene in the US election” by criticising him.
“We have to be very careful not to comment on other people’s elections, because we have to respect democracy and we have to work with whoever wins. I’m not going to intervene in the US election,” he said when asked to criticise Mr Trump on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Mr Fallon’s comments were however in contrast to those of Education Secretary Justine Greening, also made on Sunday morning television.
Of Mr Trump’s comment, Ms Greening told ITV1’s Peston on Sunday programme: “As a woman I felt they were utterly crass. Obviously it’s up to the American people to decide whether he’s the right person to be their president.”
Earlier this year Mr Fallon did not seem publicly concerned by US President Barack Obama’s support for the EU Remain campaign, which both men supported.
Mr Trump’s comments, recorded on tape in 2005, have caused a storm in the US. The candidate has however refused to quit the race, saying to do so would let down his supporters.
On the tape, Mr Trump, who was at that time newly married to his third wife, Melania, talks about trying to sleep with a married woman, saying:
“I moved on her and I failed, I'll admit it ... I did try and fuck her. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. And she was married."
Mr Trump then talks about his approach to women in general, telling the person he is with:
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
“I am automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss, I don't even wait ... and when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
"Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
Mr Trump has apologised for the comments in a pre-recorded statement.
The Republican candidate's poll rating has begun to fall away in recent weeks after signs he was running Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton close.Reuse content