Saturday 3 December 2016

David Cameron has 'no intention' of apologising to Donald Trump for calling him stupid

Steven Swinford & Christopher Hope

Published 05/05/2016 | 07:19

Donald Trump with his wife Melania, right, as he celebrates his win in Indiana. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP
Donald Trump with his wife Melania, right, as he celebrates his win in Indiana. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP

David Cameron is prepared to meet Donald Trump if the US Presidential candidate visits Britain this Summer but has "no intention" of apologising for calling him "stupid and wrong".

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Mr Trump yesterday became the only candidate for the Republican presidential nomination after John Kasich, his last remaining opponent, announced that he was leaving the contest.

The Prime Minister now faces the difficult task of rebuilding relations with Mr Trump after launching a scathing personal attack on the billionaire for proposing that Muslims should be barred from the US.

Sources close to Mr Cameron have privately suggested that their sympathies lie with Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democrats, but suggested they are now keen to build bridges with Mr Trump.

David Cameron. Photo: Reuters
David Cameron. Photo: Reuters

The Daily Telegraph understands that Mr Trump is likely to visit the UK in August for a Republican fundraising drive in London, when he is also expected to meet Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader.

However any visit risks being overshadowed by Mr Cameron's comments in the Commons in December, when he said that Mr Trump's views about Muslim's were "divisive, stupid and wrong". He added: "If he came to visit our country he'd unite us all against him."

Downing Street yesterday said that the Prime Minister will not withdraw his comments about Mr Trump but added that he would be happy to meet him.

A close friend and informal adviser to Mr Trump yesterday insisted that he will not "bow to political correctness" and back down from his inflammatory comments about Muslims.

However a spokesman for the Republican candidate told The Telegraph that there are "no hard feelings" and that "once nominee Mr Trump would entertain an invitation from Mr Cameron".

Senior Conservatives last night urged Mr Cameron to extend an olive branch to Mr Trump to help secure the future of the Special Relationship if he becomes President of the United States.

Read more: Artist who painted nude Donald Trump with micropenis claims she was assaulted by one of his supporters

Liam Fox, a former defence secretary with close links to the Republican Party: "The relationship between our too countries it too important to be affected by personal chemistry of party loyalties.

"We have a convention of keeping out of one another's domestic politics and for good reasons. It does not make sense to be on poor terms with anyone who could end up being political leader of our closest ally."

Mr Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the US came in response to the Isil-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

He called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until “we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses”.

He went on to claim that parts of London are "so radicalised" that police officers are "afraid for their own lives".

More than half a million people subsequently signed a petition calling for Mr Trump to be banned from the UK.

The Government rejected the calls but Mr Cameron criticised Mr Trump in the Commons for his comments.

A Downing Street spokesman said yesterday: “The Prime Minister has no intention of withdraw his comments which were made in response to comments Donald Trump made calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

“There will be the usual approach that happens where the Government will be in contact with candidates from both of the main parties. That has happened at every US Presidential election.”

Asked if the Prime Minister would be happy to meet Mr Trump, the spokesman said: “I'm not aware that there's any trip planned but yes.”

Mr Cameron's official spokesman disclosed that British officials have been liaising with Mr Trump's team throughout the campaign, along with other candidates.

Sir Kim Darroch, the US ambassador and a close ally of Mr Cameron, is expected to meet Mr Trump once he has formally secured the Republican nomination.

Read more: Donald Trump all but certain to face Hillary Clinton in US election

It came as Guido Lombardi, a close friend and informal adviser to Mr Trump, insisted that he will not retract his views.

He said: "Trump has been abused for his views. But this sticking with political correctness is nothing but an abuse by certain groups.

"Donald rejects political correctness. People are embracing the ability to speak freely on any matter without being judged or having people getting signatures against them only because they decided to express their opinion."

Sam Nunberg, a former adviser to Mr Trump, said that Mr Cameron could clash with Mr Trump over Russian aggression. He said: "They need to discuss their interests with Donald especially vis a vis Putin. There could be a problem there.

"Donald has this weird fascination with Putin and he takes pro-Russian positions, not fighting their territorial aggression in Europe. That may be an issue. They also need to explain to him how they are helping America interests with Isis and Iran."

Telegraph.co.uk

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