British PM says he stands by his claim that plan to ban Muslims from entering US is ‘divisive, stupid and wrong’ David Cameron has said Donald Trump’s call for temporary ban on muslims arriving in the US is “dangerous”, and he is not willing to withdraw his criticism of it.
The British prime minister said he was sticking to his earlier claim that the proposal was “divisive, stupid and wrong” but he would be happy to meet the presumptive Republican presidential candidate if he travelled to the UK before the US election.
“American presidential candidates have made a habit of coming through Europe and through the UK, so if that happens I would be very happy to,” he told ITV’s Robert Peston, saying he believed in maintaining the special relationship.
But he added: “I don’t withdraw in any way what I said about the policy of not letting Muslims into America. I do think that is wrong and divisive.
“We have got to demonstrate that what we’re up against here is a very small minority of a minority, Islamist extremists, that want to divide our societies, and we have got to explain that there are billions of people in our world who are devout Muslims but who believe in liberal democracy and all the things we believe in.”
He added that the original statement from Trump was “a very dangerous thing to say … as well as a divisive and wrong one”.
Trump had said he feared the US might not have a good relationship with the UK under his presidency following the prime minister’s comments. But he later said he had been invited to visit Cameron at No 10.
“I will do just fine with David Cameron. I think he’s a nice guy. I will do just fine,” he said. “But they have asked me to visit 10 Downing Street – and I might do it.”
Downing Street has indicated that formal invites are not generally sent to presidential candidates but traditionally they do meet the prime minister when travelling in Europe. Trump’s reference to an invite might relate to press reports around that.