UK Politics

Sadiq Khan: Theresa May should 'call out' Donald Trump

Theresa May and Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Donald Trump visited the UK in July 2018

Theresa May should "call out" Donald Trump on issues where she thinks he is "wrong" during his visit to the UK, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

In an interview with LBC, the Labour politician said the US and UK were "closest mates" with a "special relationship" that allowed frank talk.

The US president is due to make a state visit from 3 to 5 June, including meetings with Mrs May.

The prime minister's spokesperson said: "I can't pre-empt their discussion."

Appearing on the James O'Brien LBC radio show, Mr Khan said: "The prime minister should say, 'Listen, we may have a special relationship, we may agree on most things but I got to tell you this… I think you are wrong on A, B, C, D and E.'"

"I'm not suggesting she does a Hugh Grant-type public scene," he said, referring to a scene from the film Love Actually, in which a UK prime minister lambasts an American president.

However, Mr Khan insisted Mrs May should "call him [Mr Trump] out on some of these things".

"That would give us some succour that our prime minister understands what we are feeling."

Mr Khan supported Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's decision to refuse to attend a state dinner being held at Buckingham palace in Mr Trump's honour, adding that he would also have declined if invited.

A war of words (and blimps)

Image copyright EPA

Mr Khan's comments follow a long-running feud between the two men.

In May 2016 Mr Trump challenged the newly elected London mayor to an IQ test, after Mr Khan said his views on Islam were "ignorant".

Following the attack on London Bridge and Borough market in 2017, the US president accused Mr Khan of "pathetic" behaviour.

Mr Khan responded that he would not allow Mr Trump to "divide our communities".

In July last year Mr Trump said Mr Khan had "done a very bad job on terrorism".

The mayor said he would not rise to Donald Trump's "beastly" accusation that he had done "a terrible job" following the London terror attacks.

Mr Trump's criticism came after Mr Khan permitted a plan to fly a giant inflatable "Trump baby" blimp to coincide with the president's UK visit.

Two months later Mr Khan also gave protesters permission to fly a bikini-clad blimp of himself over Westminster.

Image copyright Getty Images

Will Donald Trump address Parliament?

Foreign leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former US President Barack Obama have been invited to address Parliament, but it is not yet clear whether President Trump will be given the same opportunity.

The speakers of the House of Commons and Lords plus the Lord Great Chamberlain have the power to invite people to address the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Angela Merkel addressed both Houses of Parliament in 2014

The government could circumvent that process by inviting the president to speak from the Royal Gallery or different parts of the Palace of Westminster.

A spokeswoman for Commons Speaker John Bercow said: "Should a request be made to address the Houses of Parliament, it will be considered in the usual way."

However, in 2017, Mr Bercow said he would be "strongly opposed" to Mr Trump addressing the Houses of Parliament.

Mrs May has previously said June's state visit is an "opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead".

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