‘A state visit is an honor, and we don’t think that this president deserves an honor,’ says shadow foreign secretary.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry says U.S. President Donald Trump
“is a sexual predator” and “a racist,” and “it’s right to say that,”
Speaking to the BBC’s “Today” radio program about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to boycott Trump’s U.K. state visit this week and instead address an anti-Trump protest rally, Thornberry said it is the appropriate response to the American president.
“A state visit is an honor, and we don’t think that this president deserves an honor,” Thornberry said. “He is a sexual predator, he is a racist, and it’s right to say that. And I think we need to think about when is it that our country got so scared. Why can’t we start saying things as they are?”
The shadow Cabinet minister said it’s time for the U.K. to stand up to Trump.
“We’ve seen the way in which this current British government have tried to deal with Donald Trump, by fawning all over him, holding his hand, and what respect have we got as a result of it?” she said, adding that “actually he admires strength.”
She said: “It’s like the way you deal with a bully. If you bow down in front of them, you get kicked harder.”
Asked why Corbyn refused to attend Trump events but took a different approach during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit, Thornberry said the Labour chief had raised his concerns with the Chinese leader during meetings with him.
She added: “The reason I think that I personally am so angry at this particular American president, and I admit that I am, is that I love America and I love the values America has stood for … When you have a close friend and they’re going wrong, you are more likely to be more adamant with them, clearer with them, than with someone who has not been as close a friend and you are trying to build a relationship with them.”