British Prime Minister David Cameron called Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong” in Parliament on Wednesday.
Cameron was reacting to calls to ban Trump from entering the country due to his proposal to ban Muslims from immigrating to or visiting the United States, which Trump defended at Tuesday night’s Republican debate in Las Vegas.
“I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong and I think if he came to this country it would unite us all against him,” Cameron said during Question Time in the House of Commons.
Over half a million Britons have signed a petition to ban Trump from the United Kingdom. “The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK,” the petition says.
Cameron is a member of the Conservative Party, who tacked closer to the center to win power after years of Labour Party rule. He is one of the few foreign leaders who is close to U.S. President Barack Obama.
Last week, Trump defended his policy, telling Morning Joe on MSNBC: “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives.”
That, too, drew a backlash, with London mayor Boris Johnson–also a Conservative–firing back: “Crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York–and the only reason I wouldn`t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Several Scottish institutions also dissociated themselves from Trump, whose response was to say that the British people “should be thanking me.”
Coincidentally, Wednesday is also the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, which occurred on December 16, 1773.
The full exchange between Trump and Tulip Siddiq, a female Muslim MP from the Labour Party, follows:
I am proud to represent a constituency that boasts seven synagogues, four mosques, over 35 churches and two temples. However, last night Donald Trump reiterated that members of one of those communities would not be allowed into America simply because of their religion, seemingly unaware how divisive this is. In our country we have legislation that stops people entering the country who are deemed not to be conducive to the public good. Does the Prime Minister agree that the law should be applied equally to everyone, or should we make exceptions for billionaire politicians?
The Prime Minister:
Let me join the hon. Lady in being proud of representing a country which I think has some claim to say that we are one of the most successful multiracial, multi-faith, multi-ethnic countries anywhere in the world. There is more to do to build opportunity and fight discrimination. I agree with her that it is right that we exclude people when they are going to radicalise or encourage extremism. I happen to disagree with her about Donald Trump. I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong, and if he came to visit our country I think he would unite us all against him.