Even though President Donald Trump was dutifully elected to become the leader of the United States — the most powerful position the world — the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says that the American president does not deserve a state visit to the United Kingdom.
According to Fox News, Sadiq Khan did an interview on the British radio station LBC in which he said that Trump was not “in the same class” as former President Barack Obama.
“Of course we should have a close relationship with the president of the United States, but we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet; we shouldn’t have a state banquet,” Khan said.
President George W. Bush enjoyed a state visit to the United Kingdom in 2003; Barack Obama in 2011.
“History tells us only two presidents have had a state visit,” Khan continued. “I think President Trump is certainly not in the same class as those two.”
Khan said he takes particular issue with President Trump’s past comments about women. “The impression is being given that you can get away from it — that you get a get-out-of-jail card. But it’s worse than that,” Khan said. “There’s a boasting and bragging, it’s almost like a green light for others to behave badly.”
The London mayor is not the only official in Britain who feels that Trump should not be given a state visit. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he will be boycotting the “racist and misogynistic” president during his visit.
“Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a President who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric,” Corbyn said in April. “Maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a State Visit. It is disappointing that the Prime Minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration.”
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable and the House of Commons speaker John Bercow have also denounced the state visit and will be boycotting the event. “[Britain] should not be beguiled by pomp and circumstance into hobnobbing with a man who is on record as a misogynist and a racist,” said Cable.
Trump and Khan have had a tumultuous relationship ever since the 2016 election, during which the then-candidate issued harsh critiques of Islam as Khan went on to become the city’s first Muslim mayor. Throughout Khan’s tenure, the city has seen a rise in crime rates to the point that he has had to implement “knife control” measures.
“An epidemic of stabbings and acid attacks in London has gotten so bad that London mayor Sadiq Khan is announcing broad new ‘knife control’ policies designed to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of Londoners looking to cause others harm,” reported The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti in April of last year. “The ‘tough, immediate’ measures involve an incredible police crackdown, a ban on home deliveries of knives and acid, and expanding law enforcement stop-and-search powers so that police may stop anyone they believe to be a threat, or planning a knife or acid attack.”