Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who found himself in the crosshairs of US President Donald Trump in the past on the issue of terrorism, on Sunday hit out at the red carpet being rolled out for the latter’s visit from Monday, calling it ‘so un-British’.
Demonstrations and a Trump baby blimp have been planned during the state visit, which has already hit the headlines with Trump endorsing Boris Johnson as the next prime minister, and suggesting that ardent Brexiteer Nigel Farage be sent to Brussels to negotiate a good deal.
Khan, who is among many opposed to Trump’s word-view and visit, wrote in The Observer: “This is a man who tried to exploit Londoners’ fears following a horrific terrorist attack on our city, amplified the tweets of a British far-right racist group, denounced as fake news robust scientific evidence warning the dangers of climate change, and is now trying to interfere shamelessly in the Conservative party leadership race by backing Boris Johnson because he believes it would enable him to gain an ally in Number 10 for his divisive agenda”.
Calling Trump ‘one of the most egregious examples’ of the global rise of the far-right, Khan added: “That’s why it’s so un-British to be rolling out the red car;pet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behavior flies in the face of the ideals America was founded – equality, liberty and religious freedom”.
On Monday, the two-day visit will begin with Queen Elizabeth welcoming Trump ceremonially in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, where he will inspect a guard of honour amid royal gun salutes from Green Park and the Tower of London.
Trump will be accompanied by his extended family. His daughter, Ivanka, is due to attend a business leaders breakfast on Tuesday with Trump in the company of Prime Minister Theresa May and the Duke of York.
Voice of opposition to Trump include that of Paul Bayes, bishop of Liverpool, who questioned whether he is a Christian, and backed protesters who plan to demonstrate against the president.
According to Bayes, Trump’s populist way of doing politics is “toxic and dangerous…I don’t agree with him, I think he’s mistaken in many of his policies, and I think that the Christians who identify with him, especially in the US, are not properly responding to what our Christian faith says they should do,” he told BBC.__Hindustan Times