PRESIDENT Donald Trump was accused of being a “twerp” and fuelling racial tensions after using his beloved Twitter account to comment on a rise in UK crime rates.
His social media message directly linked the upward shift in law breaking to Islamic terrorism but was branded “rubbish” back in Britain.
The US President proclaimed: “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror’. Not good, we must keep America safe.”
Crime in England and Wales rose in the 12 months to June, partly because of a 26% increase in knife crime and a 19% rise in sexual offences; the numbers of murders and manslaughter offences increased by 46 to 629, excluding the terror casualties in London and Manchester where 35 died.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, responded by describing Mr Trump’s words as “inflammatory and ignorant”.
And she said in a statement: “Hate crime in the UK has gone up by almost 30% and rubbish like this tweet from Donald Trump is designed to provoke even more of it.
“It is appalling that we have not reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the United States of America are now seen as normal. If we are to properly tackle hate crime and every other crime, we have to challenge this sort of nonsense.”
Tory backbencher Nicholas Soames – grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – responded even more directly and described Mr Trump as a “daft twerp”, who needed to “fix gun control”.
Labour’s Hilary Benn said everyone would appreciate “a reduction in tweets like this” from the US president, the Lib Dem’s Jo Swinson accusing Mr Trump of being “misleading” and “spreading fear”.