Nicola Sturgeon: Trump visit '˜unthinkable' after Charlottesville
A state visit to Britain by Donald Trump should be 'unthinkable' in light of his response to deadly violence in Virginia, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Scotland’s First Minister joined calls for Theresa May to withdraw the honour after the US president failed to condemn racist protesters in Charlottesville.
Ms Sturgeon said Mr Trump was “on the wrong side” of the debate after he appeared to equate the actions of far-right and counter protesters.
Civil rights activist Heather Heyer, 32, died when a car was driven into crowds as anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with the white supremacists on Saturday.
Mr Trump has been heavily criticised at home and abroad after suggesting there were some “very fine people, on both sides”.
Speaking to LBC radio, Ms Sturgeon said many people would be “deeply disturbed” by the comments.
She said: “You cannot draw an equivalence between far-right Nazis, people who peddle hate and racism and bigotry, and those who protest against that kind of ideology, and when you’ve got the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan praising the president’s comments, I think it is time for him to perhaps reflect that he is on the wrong side of this debate.
“I know there is a convention that leaders in one country will not comment on the comments or the actions of leaders in another country, but some issues are too fundamental for diplomatic silence.
“It matters to all of us across the world that we stand up and are counted to combat the ideology of the far-right, and I think that’s a responsibility of all of us.
“I never thought it was the right thing to announce a state visit at the time that Theresa May did, but I think the idea, at the moment, of president Trump making a state visit to the UK is unthinkable and perhaps it is time for the Prime Minister just to put that beyond doubt, that given these controversies, given some of the issues that are to the fore in America, now would certainly not be the time.”
On Twitter, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “The President of the United States has just turned his face to the world to defend Nazis, fascists and racists. For shame.”
Theresa May criticised Donald Trump for not singling out white supremacists for criticism following deadly unrest in Virginia, insisting there is “no equivalence” between fascists and their opponents.
The Prime Minister spoke out after the US President failed to condemn far-right demonstrators outright for violence in Charlottesville in which a woman was killed.
Mr Trump claimed “there is blame on all sides”, apparently equating the actions of far-right demonstrators with those protesting against them.
But Mrs May said: “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them.”