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- Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Donald Trump’s retweets were “wrong.”
- Responding to a suggestion that the US President should delete his account, Rudd said: “Many of us will share his view.”
- Labour’s Diane Abbott described the incident as “offensive to all decent British people.”
LONDON – The UK’s Home Secretary has called on Donald Trump to delete his Twitter account after saying the US President was “wrong” to retweet Islamaphobic videos from a British far-right group.
Amber Rudd was answering an urgent question about the incident in the House of Commons, and told MPs: “President Trump was wrong to retweet videos from the far-right group Britain First.”
On Wednesday Trump retweeted inflammatory hate videos posted by a leader of Britain First, a British far-right group that peddles anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, before attacking Theresa May after she criticised him.
When Conservative MP Peter Bone said Trump should delete his Twitter account, Rudd said: “Many of us will share his view.”
Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told MPs: “We believe the United States is our most important ally,” but said the retweets were “not just offensive to British people of Muslim heritage, not just to people of black and minority ethnic heritage, it is offensive to all decent British people and it is also an attack on the values of this country.
“We call on the government to make clear that in no way and at no time does it give any support whatsoever to the distasteful views of the 45th president on race, on migration, on Muslim communities internationally, because to do anything else would be an affront to voters in this country whichever side of the house they support.”
Rudd thanked her for her “powerful” words and said the government “will continue to speak freely and frankly when it takes place,” indicating that it will continue to criticise Trump over such issues.
The home secretary described Britain First as “an extremist organisation which seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which spread lies and stoke tensions.”
Labour MP Stephen Doughty said that Trump was “either a racist, incompetent, unthinking or all three,” and told MPs: “We must all take a stand against hatred or we slip into the darkness.”
When asked about whether Britain First would be proscribed as a far-right group, Rudd said: “We will always keep under review what other organisations need to be proscribed.”
The home secretary also told MPs: “The prime minister will always have regular calls with the president and she has been explicit in criticising this tweet… and she will always call it out when she sees it.”
Conservative MP Tim Loughton suggested that Twitter should have “no hesitation” over taking down Trump’s Twitter account if he “peddles hate crime.”
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