Jeremy Hunt: Sadiq Khan "Virtue Signalling Of The Worst Kind" For Boycotting State Visit
3 June 2019, 12:08
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt criticises Sadiq Khan and the Labour Party for "virtue signalling of the worst kind" by boycotting President Trump's state visit.
The US President had not arrived in London when he tweeted that London Mayor Sadiq Khan was a "stone cold loser" who had been "foolishly nasty" to him.
But Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told LBC the Labour Party were "virtue signalling of the worst kind" by boycotting the state visit.
Speaking from Stansted Airport shortly after President Trump's arrival, Mr Hunt said the state visit was about "celebrating the friendship between two great countries".
"For Sadiq Khan and the Labour Party to be boycotting the state visit of the President of the United States, who has been invited here by Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate a relationship that goes back century's and just 75 years ago saw a million American servicemen on our soil ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for our liberty, I'm afraid is virtue signalling of the worst kind," he said.
Asked by LBC's reporter Rachael Venables whether it was right for the President to tweet the remarks about Mr Khan, Mr Hunt replied: "The President does what the President does."
"Let's ask why he was so angry when he did that tweet and I think the very simple reason is that he has been shown great discourtesy.
"I don't want to get involved in those spats, but all I would say is that all we want to do as the British government is to celebrate that great friendship between the UK and the USA."
His comments come after a Twitter spat between Donald Trump and Sadiq Khan moments before the Presidents' plane touched down at Stansted Airport.
In a tweet, President Trump described the London Mayor as a "stone cold loser" who had been "foolishly nasty" to him.
But a spokesperson for Mr Khan said the tweet was "more serious than childish insults" that should be "beneath the President of the United States".