‘Evil racist’: how the UK reacted to Trump’s Theresa May Twitter attack
Britain woke up on Thursday morning to find the British-American special relationship under threat after Donald Trump launched a scathing overnight attack on Theresa May, dismissively telling her not to criticise him.
The president’s public outburst was a response to Downing Street’s earlier statement calling him out for retweeting videos from far-right group Britain First, which the prime minister’s spokesman said used “hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions”.
The US president responded in a tweet on Wednesday evening:
British politicians, including senior members of May’s government, were quick to respond. Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for communities and local government, had criticised Trump’s initial tweet.
Fellow Conservatives echoed his views. George Freeman responded:
The Tory MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, tweeted that she was “Proud to stand with Javid” on the issue.
The Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, described Trump as an “evil racist” in a tweet, urging May that she to should end a “humiliating dependence of #Brexit Britain on goodwill of evil racist. Cancel visit.”
The UK’s former transport secretary, Andrew Adonis, said he could not think of “a more insulting or destructive public communication from a US president to a British PM since the American civil war”. May should summon the American ambassador to London, he added.
The director of communications for May’s Conservative party, Carrie Symonds, was not impressed either, pointing out that Trump had first used the wrong Twitter handle for May. “And that’s just the start,” she said.
British MPs queued up to suggest that Trump’s planned state visit to the UK should be cancelled. The Labour MP for Rhonda Chris Bryant tweeted:
John Woodcock MP described Trump as “an unedifying disgrace” who “diminishes his great office”.
The Conservative MP Hugo Swire suggested that Trump might face a tough time with the public if he does come to the UK, tweeting:
On Thursday morning, the prime minister’s office said it would not yet respond to Trump’s tweet directed at May, but that it stood by its earlier statement calling him out for retweeting Britain First. May’s spokesman also made clear Trump’s planned state visit to London still stood, although pressure was growing for her to rescind the invite.
Meral Hussein-Ece, a Liberal Democrat peer, summed up what appeared to be many people’s feelings on the issue:
Brendan Cox, the widower of the former Labour MP Jo Cox whose killer shouted “Britain first” before he shot and stabbed her, called on Trump to take his own advice to May and focus on US domestic problems:
In the US, a member of Trump’s party, Senator Orrin Hatch, the second-highest-ranking official of the Senate, also appeared to rally to May’s defence, calling her “one of the great world leaders”.
Hatch met May last week to discuss security threats.
The Twitter spat, though, might provide an unexpected boost to May’s faltering popularity at home.
via Guardian U.S. http://bit.ly/2szDb9W
November 30, 2017 at 02:21AM