British MPs have accused Donald Trump of “fearmongering” and of making “inflammatory and ignorant statements” after he claimed a rise in UK crime was caused by “radical Islamic terror”.
Among a number of comments on social media, co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, tweeted: “OK @theresa-may, this is a test. Will you publicly condemn this outright fearmongering?”
Labour MP Wes Streeting also tried to involve the Prime Minister, writing: “Please tell me again why we’re rolling the red carpet out for this imbecile, @theresa-may?”
Another Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, said: “It is appalling that we have reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the President of the United States are now seen as normal.”
The US President wrote: “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!”
He was referring to a report issued by the Office for National Statistics, which said the overall number of offences registered by police forces rose to 5.2m in the 12 months to June – an increase of 13%.
The previous year’s total was 4.6m.
Attempted murders increased by 59%, to 1,147. The London and Manchester terror attacks, during which officers recorded 294 attempted murders, contributed to that figure.
But far from focusing on terror offences, the ONS’s report is a general look at UK crime, from burglary to fraud.
It covers England and Wales only – not the whole of the UK, as Mr Trump stated.
Another report, published by the Home Office earlier this week, said police recorded 80,393 offences in which hate was deemed to be a motivating factor in 2016/17.
That was up from 62,518 in 2015/16.
Ms Cooper tweeted in response to the President’s comments: “Hate crime in UK up 29% – sadly encouraged by ignorant tweets like this. Not good POTUS.”
Ms Cooper expanded on her comments in a statement, adding: “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.
“If we are to properly tackle hate crime and every other crime, we have to challenge this kind of nonsense.”
Mr Trump has caused controversy before by talking about extremism in Britain.
While running for the White House he claimed the UK had a “massive Muslim problem”.
He also alleged that parts of London were “so radicalised” that police were “afraid for their own lives”.
David Cameron, who was prime minister at the time, slammed the comments as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.