Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has supported Donald Trump’s comment attacking Mayor Sadiq Khan, despite the US president endorsing the racist term “Londonistan”.
Mr Hunt refused to criticise President Trump for quoting a post by far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, which had called the capital city “Khan’s Londonistan”.
The Tory leadership contender told a Westminster hustings: “President Trump has his own style and I wouldn’t use those words myself.
“But the sentiment is enormous disappointment that we have a mayor of London who has completely failed to tackle knife crime and spent more time on politics than the actual business of making Londoners safer.
“And in that, I 150 per cent agree with the president.”
However, two of Mr Hunt’s leadership rivals did criticise the President Trump’s Twitter activity.
Home secretary Sajid Javid told Mr Trump to “stick to domestic politics”, describing his behaviour as “unbecoming of the leader of such a great state”.
Environment secretary, Michael Gove, said: “It’s always a mistake to retweet anything that Katie Hopkins tweets.”
The international development secretary, Rory Stewart, while avoiding criticising Mr Trump in the hustings, later tweeted that he “100 per cent” disagreed with the “Londonistan” description.
And Dominic Raab hit out, saying: “I disagree with lots of things Sadiq Khan says but I’m proud to have a Muslim mayor of London and a Muslim home secretary. I’ve lived in London and I’m proud that it’s a melting point.”
On Saturday 16 June, President Trump continued his feud with Mayor Sadiq Khan, tweeting: “LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!”
He also retweeted Ms Hopkins’ original post, which called the capital “Stab-City” and “Khan’s Londonistan” alongside two screenshots of online stories detailing the violence.
Mayor Khan said: “It’s for Donald Trump to explain his tweets, not for me, but it’s remarkable that you’ve got the president of the USA amplifying the tweets of a far-right activist, amplifying a racist tweet.
“That’s one of my concerns about Donald Trump – he’s now seen as a poster boy for racists around the world, whether you’re a racist in this country, whether you’re a racist in Hungary, a racist in Italy, or a racist in France.”