PM praises Sadiq Khan but refuses to criticise Donald Trump

Theresa May praised the efforts of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.  Picture: by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Theresa May praised the efforts of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Picture: by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Have your say

Theresa May suggested Donald Trump was wrong to criticise London’s mayor following the London Bridge terror attack - although she stopped short of directly condemning the US president.

Mr Trump, during a series of tweets following the weekend attack, challenged Sadiq Khan for saying there was “no reason to be alarmed” when seeking to reassure Londoners.

Mrs May initially sidestepped questions about Mr Trump by choosing to praise Mr Khan’s response.

Asked if Mr Trump was wrong about his assessment of the London Mayor, the Prime Minister told reporters: “I think Sadiq Khan is doing a good job and it’s wrong to say anything else - he’s doing a good job.”

Mr Khan also appeared to suggest he does not regard Mr Trump’s planned state visit as welcome.

While addressing police funding, he noted London has other responsibilities due to its status as a capital city.

Mr Khan went on: “From major events, there’s a big cricket match today, to state visits - some welcome, some less so.

“But the fact is we need to make sure the police have the resources and support they need, and as the mayor my job is to make our city safe and I’ll do my best as the mayor to be an advocate and champion for our police to get the tools they need.”

Mr Trump tweeted at the weekend : “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”

A spokesman for Mr Khan replied by saying the mayor has “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed” tweet.

Mrs May, taking questions after a central London election campaign speech, was earlier asked if she wanted a period of silence from Mr Trump.

She replied: “I’m very clear that Sadiq is doing a good job as Mayor of London.

“We’re working with him, working together and that’s important - central government and the London mayoralty and his officials working together to ensure we are responding to the attack and looking, as I said earlier, at the work that the police is doing to give the public extra protection and extra reassurance.

“We want people to go about their business.”

On what Mr Trump would have to say for her to criticise him, the PM said: “I’ve been very clear, I’ve been very happy to say when I think President Trump is wrong - to have taken America out of the climate change agreement, the Paris agreement.

“The United Kingdom stays in it and we believe it’s an important international agreement.

“So I’m not afraid to say when I think President Trump is getting things wrong.”