UK riled by Trump's link between terror and rise in crime

  • 21/10/2017

US President Donald Trump has raised hackles in the UK by linking a rise in crime there to Islamic terror.

British politicians have responded by saying his statement is "inflammatory and ignorant", and ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband called the US President "a moron".

Despite the US' own deep problems, it's this week's crime figures from England and Wales that prompted Mr Trump to make his latest provocative pronouncement.

Earlier he tweeted: "Just out report: 'United Kingdom crime rises 13 percent annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.' Not good, we must keep America safe!"

The report he quoted was presented by One America News, a far-right cable news channel that reported on the issue under a banner reading "migrant crisis".

British politicians fired their tweets back. Chair of the Home Affairs Committee Yvette Cooper said: "Hate crime in UK up 29 percent - sadly encouraged by ignorant tweets like this. Not good POTUS."

She was joined by Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson, who urged Mr Trump to "stop misleading and spreading fear. Hate crime is up and it is fuelled by the kind of populist xenophobia you peddle."

Meanwhile Labour deputy leader Tom Watson jokingly wrote, "Officer, I'd like to report a hate crime."

Clearly the US President wants to make an impact, but in fact the official figures only reflect a rise in overall crime. It's far from the first time Mr Trump has used terror attacks in Britain to justify his own agenda.

Throughout the day, the UK government has been weary of being drawn into a row with Mr Trump over linking terror with overall crime figures, but in a statement a spokesperson said: "It's important to ensure accuracy when reporting on crime figures."

When it comes to quoting crime statistics, Mr Trump might be advised to tread carefully, given the US' homicide rate is seven times higher than other high-income countries.

ITV News