Labour politicians sock it to ‘troll’ Trump… but May won’t join in
The PM could not say whether a period of silence by the president would be advisable.
Donald Trump has been blasted as "pathetic" and "truly beneath contempt" by Labour politicians for his latest attempts to smear Sadiq Khan.
But Theresa May repeatedly refused to criticise the US president after he misquoted the London mayor for the second time in 24 hours.
The row started on Sunday when Khan urged Londoners not to be concerned by a greater police presence after the terrorist attack at London Bridge. In the statement, the mayor had said: "Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days, no reason to be alarmed.”
Trump then claimed on Twitter that Khan had implied there was "no reason to be alarmed" by the attack itself, rather than the extra police officers.
Despite a widespread backlash against the president’s interpretation of the London mayor’s statement, he rehashed it yet again today.
Trump’s latest tweet was fiercely condemned by David Lammy, the long-serving Labour MP for Tottenham. He called the president “truly beneath contempt” and “just a troll” – and called on May to “tell Trump where to get off”.
In subsequent tweets, Lammy added: "You demean your office by misquoting and smearing the Mayor of a city that has just been attacked and is also the capital of your close ally. You besmirch the presidency, you taint previous Presidents with your behaviour & you bring shame on your great country and its great people."
Labour frontbencher Jon Ashworth said: "How pathetic tweeting this. Theresa May should do the patriotic thing & stand up to him. She won't of course. She's utterly weak."
And their colleague Alex Cunningham, who is defending Stockton North, said: "Trump isn't fit to lick Sadiq's boots."
Asked about the row this morning by the Financial Times, the prime minister said that Khan was doing an "excellent job" and then declined to say anything about Trump when pushed.
Asked by Bloomberg News if a period of silence by Trump would be advisable, she dodged the question again by saying that Khan was "doing a good job".
Bloomberg News later tried again to get the prime minister to answer on Trump, asking: "But is he wrong on Sadiq Khan?"
The prime minister replied: "Sadiq Khan is doing a good job. I’ve said that. I think Sadiq Khan is doing a good job. To say anything else is wrong."
Picture by: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images