Hunt sides with US President in Islamophobic spate against Khan

28th Jun 2019
Hunt sides with US President in Islamophobic spate against Khan

Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt (Photo: NHS Confederation/Flickr Common)

Hamed Chapman

The extent of Islamophobia within the ruling Tory party has once again raised its ugly head with Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, supporting the US President’s latest outburst against Labour’s London Mayor, Sadiq Khan and the Prime Minister’s office refusing to condemn Donald Trump’s deepening interference in British politics.

Returning from his controversial state visit to Britain, Trump stepped up his personal campaign to oust Khan, describing his tenure as a “disaster” after unbelievably sharing a tweet with far-right commentator Katie Hopkins in which she once again bared her anti-Muslim hatred when labelling the UK capital as “Khan’s Londonistan.”

“LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!” the US President said in one of his landmark tweets. “He is a national disgrace who is destroying the City of London!” While in the UK, he continued his tirade against the Mayor, calling him “a stone cold loser” for daring to question why Trump had been granted a state visit.

“President Trump has his own style and I wouldn’t use those words myself but the sentiment is enormously supported, that we have a mayor of London who is completely failing to tackle knife crime and has spent more time on politics than the business of making London safer, in that I 150% agree with the President,” Hunt said on the “Londonistan” re-tweet during the Lobby Hustings on June 17 to become the next Tory leader.

The Government similarly declined to criticise Trump’s tweet, arguing it was a “matter for the US”. During the 2016 mayoral elections, the Government had also refused to condemn the Islamophobic campaign again Khan launched by Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith.

Among the candidates seeking to replace Theresa May, the most outspoken against the US President’s latest outburst was Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, who had been controversially banned from attending the state banquet given in honour of Trump during his visit.

“It’s unbecoming of the leader of such a great state to keep interfering in the domestic politics of another country,” Javid said at the same Lobby Hustings. “I think President Trump should stick to domestic politics.”

The latest rant came amid a spate of killing in London and the Home Secretary said “the President is right to be concerned about serious violence but he should be concerned about serious violence in his own country, which is more than ten times higher than it is in the UK.”

But fellow leadership contender, International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart, declined to criticise Trump when asked by BuzzFeed News. “I’ve been a diplomat,” he said at the Lobby Hustings, arguing that any conversations with the President should be had in private.

In contrast, Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said he thought it was “always a mistake to retweet anything Katie Hopkins tweets’’ while Dominic Raab believed the US President was not being “helpful or constructive”, adding “I disagree with a lot of things that Sadiq Khan has said but I’m proud to have a Muslim Mayor of London and a Muslim Home Secretary.”

Khan was “astonished” that Tory politicians have refused to condemn Trump on re-tweeting Islamophobic tweet.

“Re-tweets by Trump was amplifications for a far-right extremists. It was a racist tweet. I find it astonishing that the leader of the free world is amplifying racist messages,” Khan told The Muslim News.

“What is astonishing to British Muslims and others is that leading Conservative politicians aren’t going to call out on Trump. This demonstrates the fact that we have been too sycophantic to someone who is a poster boy for the far right movement,” he added.

Additional report by Ahmed J Versi

 

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