Britain's PM meets key Arab ally, amid Trump anti-Muslim row

Cutout Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0
By  | 

LONDON (AP) — 4:30 p.m.

Britain's prime minister is holding talks with a key pro-Western Arab ally, as she is embroiled in a row with President Donald Trump over his perceived stoking of anti-Islam sentiments.

Theresa May was meeting on Thursday with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the end of a Mideast tour meant to bolster ties with the region before Britain leaves the European Union.

The king champions religious tolerance and is a key partner in the battle against Islamic militants.

Trump sparked outrage Wednesday when he retweeted inflammatory videos from a fringe British group purporting to show violence by Muslims.

May's office rebuked Trump, saying he was "wrong" to have done so. Trump countered that May should instead "focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom."

3:15 p.m.

Britain's ambassador to the United States says he has complained to the White House about Donald Trump's retweets of a far-right U.K. group.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said Trump was wrong to retweet anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of extremist group Britain First. The government says the group's views are anathema to most people in Britain.

Britain's envoy in Washington, Kim Darroch, tweeted Thursday that "British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which seek to divide communities & erode decency, tolerance & respect. British Muslims are peaceful and law abiding citizens."

He added that "I raised these concerns with the White House yesterday."


1:30 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says President Donald Trump's retweets from a far-right group were "the wrong thing to do."

May says the group, Britain First, is "a hateful organization" that runs counter to "common British decency."

May has been under pressure to condemn Trump directly over the retweets of anti-Muslim videos. Her spokesman has already said the retweets were wrong.

Speaking in Amman, Jordan, May said Britain and the U.S. have a special relationship but she is not afraid to criticize friends when they get things wrong.

Asked about a tweet by Trump urging her to focus on Islamic extremist violence rather than on him, May said Britain takes the danger of extremism very seriously.


10:40 a.m.

The mayor of London has added his voice to calls for President Donald Trump's state visit to Britain to be canceled over his retweets of a British far-right group.

Sadiq Khan says Trump has promoted "a vile, extremist group" and an official visit by him to Britain "would not be welcomed."

Trump's retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from far-right group Britain First has been widely condemned in Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said the president was wrong to have done it.

In response, Trump urged May to focus on "the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom," rather than on him.

Downing St. and the White House both say a state visit by Trump is planned, but no date has been set.