US President Donald Trump further stirred up his ongoing feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan by blaming him for a recent spate of stabbings and violence in the UK capital.
Trump and Khan have repeatedly clashed ever since the Pakistani-origin mayor questioned the red carpet being rolled out for the US President by Britain, most recently for a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month.
Khan has also likened Trump to “20th century fascists” for his divisive views on immigration, with Trump hitting back with social media messages about his “terrible job” as Mayor of London.
The US President’s latest intervention on Twitter follows in the same vein, demanding that Khan should be replaced.
“London needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse,” he said, while retweeting a message that highlighted two stabbings and a shooting in London in the last few days.
“He is a national disgrace who is destroying the city of London,” a follow-up message read.
Khan’s spokesperson said the London Mayor’s thoughts were with the victims’ families and he “is not going to waste his time responding to this sort of tweet”.
“Violent crime has no place in our city, and there’s no higher priority for me than Londoners’ safety,” Khan said on Twitter.
His online feud with Trump dates back to just after Trump took office in 2016, when the Mayor called the President’s proposed Muslim immigration ban “divisive and outrageous”.
After the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack, Trump said Khan was guilty of “pathetic” behaviour and in July last year he claimed the Mayor had “done a very bad job on terrorism”.
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked the US President’s latest outburst, saying it was “absolutely awful to see Donald Trump using the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the Mayor”.
He tweeted: “Sadiq Khan is rightly supporting the police to do their job while Katie Hopkins spreads hateful and divisive rhetoric. They seek to divide at a time we need to come together.”
The Metropolitan Police said 14 people – including several boys and a girl – have been arrested in connection with the incidents of stabbing and shooting in Wandsworth, Plumstead and Clapham areas of London.
An 18-year-old man was stabbed to death on Friday afternoon in Wandsworth, south London, then minutes later a 19-year-old man was shot dead in Plumstead, south-east London.
A man in his 30s then died after he was stabbed in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Saturday afternoon. In the early hours of Saturday, two men were stabbed in Clapham and another was stabbed in Brixton.
“Sadiq is focusing on supporting London’s communities and over-stretched emergency services. He has been in regular touch with senior Met police officers last night and throughout the day,” said a spokesperson for the London Mayor.
The deaths over the past few days take the total number of murders in London in 2019 to 56.