Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has said Theresa May should not sacrifice “British values” to strike a trade deal with Donald Trump.
Speaking on BBC’s Question Time, the Labour MP suggested the new US President’s beliefs were a barrier to a UK-US free trade agreement as the Primes Minister was in the US to meet Trump.
She was speaking just before May gave a speech to Republicans in Philadelphia where she attempted to align the Conservatives closely with Trump’s party, and harked back to renewing the Thatcher-Reagan alliance of the 1980s. She meets Trump on Friday.
Abbott highlighted Trump’s negative views on women, support for torture, and anti-Muslim statements. She made clear the UK would “have to work with them on things we can agree”, but signalled the Labour Party is significantly less enthusiastic for Trump than the Tories.
“It’s not so much turning a blind eye to Donald Trump’s policies, it’s that we cannot turn a blind eye to his values. This is a man who even compared to other right-wing Republican Presidents is quite extraordinary.
“This is a man who talks about grabbing women by the pussy. This a man who wants to stop Muslims entering the US, all Muslims. And this is a man who says contrary to everything the Army and security services know says torture works.
“What policies that Trump wants to put forward is primarily a matter for him and the American people. But on our values, British values we should all share, I don’t think we should give ground. Even if we want to get these so-called trade deals. Some things are not for sale.”
Question Time came from London and was presented by David Dimbleby. Other panelists were Tory MP James Cleverly, the SNP’s Angus Robertson, journalist Susie Boniface and comedian Geoff Norcott.