Sadiq Khan tells James O'Brien his life was threatened after Trump 'stoked hatred' against him

7 January 2021, 13:54

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment Sadiq Khan opened up about the fear he has felt over the last four years as Donald Trump's incitement of "racism and hatred" against him has led to his life being threatened.

The discussion of the President inciting violence and hatred comes after yesterday's unprecedented scenes in America, which saw four people die after pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol while Congress debated the vote that gave Joe Biden the presidency.

Latest updates: LIVE: Trump pledges ‘orderly transition’ of power after four die in clashes at Capitol

The two men have had a long-standing feud which began after Sadiq Khan said the President's views on Islam were ignorant, to which Mr Trump responded tweeted that Mr Khan "should get an IQ test."

Mr Trump has hit out many times at Mr Khan on a personal level and before his visit to the UK the President called him a "stone cold loser" and blamed him for the rise in terror attacks, to which Mr Khan did not respond.

James O'Brien asked him, "When Trump was stoking up hatred and racism directly regarding you, were you ever frightened?"

"Yes, there are many occasions over the last four and a half years where I've been frightened," Mr Khan said.

Read more: James O'Brien's message to defenders of Donald Trump

"If I'm being brutally blunt, when you speak to Muslims around the globe, many of them have felt frightened over the last four and a half/five years because what people don't realise is it isn't just Trump.

"He inspires, he normalises, a set of beliefs and behaviour from others, his followers, his fans, which can lead to people like me having their life threatened literally and needing to have police protection literally, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"What you saw last night was, I'm afraid, inevitable. As heartbreaking as it is, as it angry as it makes us, the seed of US democracy being attacked in this way by this mob and these rioters.

"When somebody shows us who they are you should believe them," Mr Khan said, quoting Maya Angelou.

Read more: James O'Brien's reaction to US Capitol pro-Trump riot

Mr Khan commented that the "inevitability" of this violent siege did not become so after Trump lost the 2020 US election: "Using lies, division and fear has been in his toolbox for the last five years."

He continued that Trump has inspired far-right populist leaders around the world and said he hoped the US result will lead to "the start of the end for far-right nativist populist leaders."

He told James of his concern that if there is not a smooth transition of power from Mr Trump to President-elect Joe Biden, this may be echoed in other countries if a "far-right" leader is overturned.

"This feeling...it doesn't just peter out, it has to go somewhere, that's why you're saying what happened yesterday had an inevitability to it," surmised James.

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