Trump continues feud with Sadiq Khan, dismisses protests as ‘fake news’

US President Donald Trump repeated his criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday, calling him and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a ‘negative force’, and dismissed reports of protests against him in London and elsewhere in the UK as ‘fake news’.

Not much was expected in terms of bilateral relationship during Trump’s three-day state visit, mainly because Prime Minister Theresa May is due to leave office on June 7. He promised a ‘phenomenal’ trade deal after the UK leaves the European Union on October 31.

Officials pointed out that talks on such a deal can only begin after Brexit is completed, and any deal will most probably will not be finalised for some years. It will be a matter for May’s successor to navigate through the Brexit process and the future trade deal.

Addressing a joint press conference in the Durbar Court of the Foreign Office – whose origins lie in the colonial India Office – both leaders talked up the proximity of the two countries in terms of culture, politics, history and economies.

Trump also reiterated his views on Khan: “I think he’s been a not very good mayor from what I understand. I don’t think he should be criticising a representative of the United States who can do so much good for the United Kingdom”.

“He’s a negative force, not a positive force. He should be focussing on his job and the problems he has caused.”

Trump said Corbyn, who addressed a large protest rally in central London, had sought a meeting, but he had decided against meeting the Labour leader. He said he did not see large protests, and called such reports and images of demonstrations ‘fake news’. Besides London, protests have been held in various cities, including Edinburgh and Oxford.

Asked if May would consider Trump’s remark earlier in the day that she should ‘stick around’ in office and see through a trade deal with the US, she smiled and ruled out remaining in Downing Street beyond June 7.

May said: “Our trading relationship is worth over £190 billion a year and we are the largest investors in each other’s economies – with mutual investments valued at as much as $1 trillion. Mr President, you and I agreed the first time we met that we should aim for an ambitious free trade agreement when the UK leaves the EU”.

“And from our positive discussions today I know that we both remain committed to this. I am also sure that our economic relationship will only grow broader and deeper, building on the conversations we had and the ideas we heard from UK and US businesses”.

First Published:
Jun 04, 2019 20:19 IST

Source: Read Full Article