Khan Brands Trump ‘Global Poster Boy for White Nationalism’, Attacks Polish Govt, Farage, Orban, Salvini

Sadiq Khan
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

London mayor Sadiq Khan branded President Donald Trump “the global poster-boy for white nationalism”, attacked Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, and branded the Polish government, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Italy’s Matteo Salvini, and France’s Marine Le Pen as far-right ahead of a trip to Gdansk to commemorate the outbreak of the Second World War.

The Labour politician, who has presided over an epidemic of violent crime — particularly knife crime — and the extension of London’s illegal drugs trade into surrounding areas by so-called “county lines” gangs, claimed that “a new wave of extremist far-right movements and political parties are winning power and influence at alarming speed – fuelled by Donald Trump, the global poster-boy for white nationalism” in an article for The Observer, sister paper to The Guardian.

“Politicians across Europe are following [President Trump’s] example by seeking to exploit division to gain power – from Matteo Salvini in Italy to Marine Le Pen in France,” he claimed, alleging that the Hungarian government, for example, had “systematically destroyed the independence of both the judiciary and the press” and linking this to the fact that those institutions “are also under daily verbal attack from Trump and other far-right leaders around the world.”

(The Hungarian government has always disputed this characterisation of its proposed judicial reforms and media landscape, which generally emanates from politicians and media commentators opposed to its strong stance against mass migration and state-sponsored multiculturalism.)

Khan claimed a similar phenomenon was taking place in the United Kingdom, citing what he described as “the outsize influence of Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party” — which recently won the European Parliament elections –having “pushed the Conservatives, under Boris Johnson, to become ever more right-wing, illiberal and intolerant”, and claiming Johnson’s recent announcement of a temporary suspension of Parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline highlighted his “disdain… for Parliament and our democracy.”

Indeed, Khan claimed earlier in his article that “Support for democracy is at a record low across the Western world” — a curious position for the London mayor to take, given his own vociferous support for overturning the British people’s vote to Leave the European Union and making them go to the polls again.

Mayor Khan’s most controversial attack may prove to be the one levelled at the government of Poland, the country which is hosting him as it commemorates the 80th anniversary of its calamitous invasion by Adolf Hitler’s Germany in 1939.

The former Louis Farrakhan lawyer accused Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS) of “becom[ing] increasingly far-right in recent years” — an assessment unlikely to go down well at such a sensitive time for the country, especially issuing from a representative of a country which, rightly or wrongly, is widely seen as having betrayed them during the war.

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