London attack: Sadiq Khan hits back at Donald Trump and accuses him of 'trying to divide communities'

The Mayor's office said he had been too busy to respond before

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 05 June 2017 21:53 BST
Thousands join together for vigil after London Bridge terror attack

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused Donald Trump of seeking to divide communities in Britain after the US president used social media to criticise his leadership following the attack on the nation's capital.

Having ignored the US president’s provocations since Saturday’s attack, with his office saying he was too busy responding to the terror attack to bother with Mr Trump’s tweets, the mayor said Mr Trump was not helping a difficult situation. Seven people were killed in the incident, launched by three armed assailants, and more than 50 were injured.

“Some people thrive on feud and division. We are not going to let Donald Trump divide our communities,” Mr Khan told the BBC.

Talking to Sky News, he added: “I just haven't got time to respond to tweets from Donald Trump. Honestly I've got better and more important things to focus on.”

Mr Trump had launched a series of comments about Mr Khan, whom he has criticised before, in which he said he was being “politically correct”.

Even though Mr Khan has roundly condemned the attack and said there was no reason for people to be alarmed by the sight of armed police officers, Mr Trump had said: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”

On Monday morning, Mr Trump published a new tweet, that said: “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it.”

Appearing on Channel 4 News, Mr Khan said Mr Trump was wrong about “many things” and that his state visit to the UK should not go ahead.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Khan received support from many, including Prime Minister Theresa May.

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

Meanwhile, the United States Conference of Mayors, which represents 1,400 communities of more than 30,000 people, issued a statement of solidarity.

“The United States Conference of Mayors stands today united with Mayor Sadiq Khan of London and the people of London. We send condolences to family and loved ones of those dead and injured,” said the group.

“We send praise and absolute respect for the police officers who responded with eight minutes to kill all three of the London Bridge terrorist murderers.”

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