LONDON: Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has said he would be “more than happy” to meet Donald Trump during his UK visit and show him how diverse London is.
The mayor has publicly clashed with the president over issues including terrorism and Islamophobia since MrTrump took office last year and he recently warned him to expect protests on the streets of the capital during his trip this July. Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, he revealed he had not been asked to meet Mr Trump during the visit but would “of course” do so if asked.
“Bearing in mind some of the things that President Trump has said about diversity, about those who follow my faith, about London, I would be more than happy to meet with him,” he said.
“I would show him how diverse we are as a city and how that is a strength and that it is possible to be a Londoner, a Westerner and a Muslim.
They are not mutually incompatible.” He added: “I’d also make the point to President Trump, in a respectful way, that I think those who are our closest allies, those with whom we have a special relationship and those who are our dear friends, I don’t think should be amplifying messages of hate by retweeting, for example, tweets by Britain First.” The president will come to Britain on Friday, July 13, for a working visit rather than the full-blown “state visit” that was previously expected.
And after the date for the visit was revealed, Mr Khan suggested the Republican president should be braced for demonstrations against him. “If he comes to London, President Trump will experience an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope overfear,”Mr Khan said. “He will also no doubt see that Londoners hold their liberal values of freedom of speech very dear.” Thousands of people have already pledged to take to the streets in protest when the President visits London in July. Mr Khan openly criticised the president last year for retweeting a series of unverified, anti-Muslim videos shared by farright party Britain First.
“President Trump yesterday used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country,” he said. “Many Brits who love America and Americans will see this as a betrayal of the special relationship between our two countries.