US President Trump Retweets British Far-Right Leader, Kicks Up Diplomatic Storm With The UK

UK Prime Minster Theresa May with US President Donald Trump(right). (Matt Cardy via Getty Images)

Global far-right movements reacted with glee after United States (US) President Donald Trump retweeted British far-right leader Jayda Fransen on Wednesday (29 November).

The three posts retweeted by Trump - supposedly showing Islamists committing acts of violence - have kicked up a major diplomatic storm with the United Kingdom (UK), which he was scheduled to visit according to reports. American diplomats have now cancelled the visit, reports say.

Britain First is a far-right British nationalist political outfit that campaigns primarily against multiculturalism and what it sees as the Islamisation of the UK, and advocates the preservation of traditional British culture. Trump retweeting its leader’s post is widely seen as an endorsement of its political ideology by the US President.

Advertisement

Trump was slammed by the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May for the retweet, who said that Britain First is a "hateful organisation" that "seeks to spread mistrust and division within our communities". Trump responded saying that May should focus on the problem of Islamic radicalisation that the UK is facing.

London’s Pakistani-origin mayor Sadiq Khan also said that Trump was no more welcome to visit London after his retweets, and called on May to cancel the invitation for the state visit, which she refused.

Twitter diplomacy has become the hallmark of US President Donald Trump who frequently addresses his followers directly through Twitter. The social media giant had recently erroneously taken down Trump’s account, and later attributed it to a rogue employee.

Advertisement

However, Trump found support domestically and globally among the growing right-wing movements who saw it as Trump’s acknowledgement of the threat that radical Islamists pose to security and social fabric.