Boris Johnson denounces Britain First as 'hateful' but fails to mention Trump retweeting them

Foreign Secretary takes to social media to respond to the President 

Wednesday 29 November 2017 22:25 GMT
Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson (AFP/Getty)

Boris Johnson has responded to Donald Trump retweeting videos from far-right group Britain First by branding the organisation as “hateful”.

The Foreign Secretary’s remarks failed to mention the President by name but did say Britain First’s views were "not in line with our values”.

Mr Trump shared videos posted by Britain First's deputy leader Jayda Fransen's account, which claimed to show “Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches”.

A second re-post was captioned “Muslim destroys statue of Virgin Mary”, while a third read “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death”.

In response Mr Johnson tweeted: "Britain First is a divisive, hateful group whose views are not in line with our values. UK has a proud history as an open, tolerant society & hate speech has no place here".

The content of the videos that Mr Trump shared or their origin could not be independently verified, but local reports said the first showed the 2013 murder of a teenager who was himself likely to be a Muslim during riots over the coup against Mohamed Morsi.

The attacker in the video from the Netherlands was neither a Muslim nor a migrant, according to local media and was arrested over the incident.

The White House defended the unverified, Islamophobic videos and said Mr Trump was driving home an important point – regardless of if they are real or not.

"Whether it's a real video, the threat is real," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. "His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security."

Mr Trump's retweets were met with widespread criticism, including that from Theresa May who described the tweets as "wrong".

A spokesman for Downing Street said: "It is wrong for the President to have done this."

However, asked if the US leader's scheduled state visit to Britain would still take place, despite the tweets, the spokesman said: "The United States is one of our oldest and closest allies. An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted. Further details will announced in due course."

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