Boris Johnson says 'no reason' to stop Trump state visit despite London terror abuse
BRITISH Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said there is "no reason" to cancel Donald Trump's state visit despite the US President's attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Mr Khan has led calls for the planned state visit to be scrapped after President Trump fired off a series of critical tweets over the Mayor's handling of the London Bridge terror attack, mocking Mr Khan's comments that there was "no reason to be alarmed" over troops on the streets.
The president then brushed aside criticism of his original posting, tweeting: "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement."
Mr Johnson, a former London mayor, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The invitation has been issued and accepted and I see no reason to change that, but as far as what Sadiq Khan has said, about the reassurances that he has offered the people of London, I think he was right to speak in that way."
He went on: "I do not wish to interpose myself into a row between the Mayor of London and the President of the United States, I've been there myself, I've done that.
"What I will say is that as a former holder of Sadiq's office is that I think he is entirely right to say what he said to reassure people of his city about the presence of armed officers on the streets."
Mr Khan previously said that Mr Trump was wrong about "many things" and that his state visit should not go ahead.
Asked about the spat with Mr Trump, Mr Khan told ITV1's Good Morning Britain: "We're not kids in a playground, he's the president of the US. I'm too busy to respond to his tweets, isn't he busy?"
He denied he was stoking up a feud which went back to 2016, when the mayor described the then presidential candidate's calls for a ban on Muslim entry into the US as "ignorant".
"It takes two to tango. I'm not tangoing with this guy, I've got better things to do," said Mr Khan. "From Saturday until now my focus has been dealing with the aftermath of the horrific attack. Working with the police, security services, the Government; that's why I've not responded to the tweets from Donald Trump."
Asked why he opposes a state visit, Mr Khan said: "Let's not overdo it, I'm not in a war with Donald Trump. I've been clear that we have a special relationship with the USA, it's very important we have a close relationship with the president, whoever he is.
"My point about the state visit was this - state visits are given to leaders of countries who are respected and have done their dues and earned a state visit and in the circumstances where there is the Muslim ban in place, in the circumstances where he changed the refugee programme, I thought it was inappropriate and premature.
"That's not to say that Prime Minister May was wrong to go and see President Trump, it's not wrong. That's not to say we shouldn't have close relationships with the USA. Some of the messages of support I've received from not just US mayors, US politicians but ordinary Americans has just raised my spirits. But every day in London Americans contribute to our economy, contribute to our way of life and culturally."
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Johnson said Mr Khan was "saying something really very reasonable and sensible about how there was no need for the public to be alarmed by the presence of armed officers on the streets".
He said: "This is, frankly, a trivial controversy by comparison with the enormity of what happened on Saturday night and the importance of getting the right response."
Mr Johnson added that Mr Khan had a "perfect right and indeed a duty" to speak up for London.