London News & Search
Theresa May has joined widespread criticism of Donald Trump’s comments on far-right groups after the violence in Virginia.
The Prime Minister said the US President had a responsibility to condemn far-right views “wherever we hear them.”
Her comments came after Trump was heavily criticised for suggesting there were some “very fine people on both sides” of the protests in Charlottesville.
But Mrs May has not agreed to requests to cancel the US leader’s planned state visit to the UK in light of his statement, despite calls for the offer to be withdrawn.
Speaking in Portsmouth at a ceremony to mark the arrival of the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, she said there is “no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them.”
She added: “I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them.”
In a heated news conference on Tuesday, Trump said there was “blame on both sides” for the violence, which culminated in the death of a Heather Heyer, 32, after a car crashed into anti-racist demonstrators.
The Prime Minister’s comments came after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Trump’s state visit to Britain should now be “unthinkable.”
Ms Sturgeon said Mr Trump was “on the wrong side” of the debate after he appeared to equate the actions of far-right and counter protesters.
Clashes erupted after a group of Far-right extremists gathered to protest a decision to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee, who commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces during the American Civil War.
Ms Heyer later died after a car driven by a white nationalist rammed into crowds as anti-fascist demonstrators confronted the white supremacists.
In a carefully-scripted White House statement on Monday, Trump eventually branded the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans”.
But during a bizarre press conference at his Manhattan residence yesterday the president appeared to revert to his original position.
He acknowledged there were “some very bad people” among the statue removal protesters, but added: “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
London News & Search