Prompted to offer an apology to Donald Trump for having called him “divisive, stupid,” British Prime Minister David Cameron conceded that Donald Trump “certainly deserves our respect.”
Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street with the visiting Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, Mr. Cameron was asked whether it would now be appropriate for him to offer an apology to Donald Trump for comments he previously made. The journalist asked:
“It’s possible when the G7 moves to Italy next year that Donald Trump could be representing the United States, do you think you owe him an apology for calling him divisive, stupid?”
The question referred to comments the Prime Minister made last December, when he labeled Mr. Trump’s proposed moratorium on Muslim immigration to the U.S. as “divisive, stupid and wrong.”
According to The Telegraph, Mr. Cameron had “no intention” of apologising to the presumptive Republican Party presidential candidate, however he did offer Mr. Trump something of an olive branch, saying:
“I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election certainly deserves our respect.
“What I said about Muslims, I won’t change that view, I’m very clear that the policy idea that was put forward was wrong, is wrong and will remain wrong.”
The apparent thawing of Mr. Cameron’s attitude to Mr. Trump since he found himself the last man standing in the Republican Party’s presidential battle echoes the apology former Mexican President Vicente Fox offered to him during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News earlier this week.
It is understood Mr. Trump is likely to visit London this summer for a Republican fundraising drive. On Wednesday Downing Street said that while the Prime Minister will not be withdrawing his criticism, he would be happy to meet.
A source in Mr. Trump’s campaign said he harbours “no hard feelings” and would “entertain an invitation from Mr. Cameron” once he is officially the Republican Party’s nominee.
Senior Tories have urged Mr. Cameron to meet with Mr. Trump to secure the future of the Special Relationship. Liam Fox, a former Defence Secretary and still a Member of Parliament, said:
“The relationship between our too countries it too important to be affected by personal chemistry of party loyalties.
“We have a convention of keeping out of one another’s domestic politics and for good reasons. It does not make sense to be on poor terms with anyone who could end up being political leader of our closest ally.”