POLITICS

Brussels Attacks: Donald Trump Wrong To Call For Torture Of Terror Suspects, Says Theresa May

Republican frontrunner said opposition to waterboarding 'soft and weak'

22/03/2016 16:38 GMT | Updated 22/03/2016 16:41 GMT
Wilfredo Lee/AP

Donald Trump is wrong to call for terror suspects to be tortured as a method of interrogation, Theresa May has said.

At least 34 people have been killed after a wave of terror attacks hit the Brussels transport system today.

In response, Trump, the frontrunner to be the Republican nominee for president, said the use of waterboarding "would be fine" by him.

He said as president he would go even further as opposition to the use of more extreme torture techniques by the US and other countries was "soft and weak".

Asked about Trump's comments this afternoon, the home secretary said: "I don't think it's appropriate to talk about waterboarding and torture."

She told the Commons home affairs committee: "We have a very clear position in the UK against torture and we should maintain that."

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Home secretary Theresa May said the UK did not condone torture

May was responding to a question from Chuka Umunna. "When things like this happen its very important we all respond in a responsible and considered way, but not every one does this," the Labour MP said.

"Do you think its appropriate, at moments like this, for people to respond to atrocities like this by calling for greater surveillance of Muslims, particularly at Mosques, to call for the use of waterboarding and torture against terrorists suspects?"

Umunna added: "Donald Trump called for precisely those things on US television".

He asked: "Do you think we are 'soft and weak' home secretary because we don’t adopt those methods?"

May replied: "We have a very clear position in relation to torture. What I think is necessary for us to do here in the UK is to ensure we have the powers that are appropriate, that can be used when necessary and appropriate when dealing with those who would do us harm."

 On Tuesday morning, Brussels Zaventem airport was rocked by two explosions at 8am local time - at least one a suicide bombing - with 14 dead and more than 92 injured.

About an hour later a second explosion ripped through a rush-hour train at Maalbeek Metro station near the European Union headquarters, where 20 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

Islamic State have claimed responsibilty for the attacks.

In response, Trump told Fox News’ Fox & Friends: "I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on.

"We have to be very, very vigilant with who we let into this country. We are taking in people without real documentation."

The Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, responded to Trump. "It’s unrealistic that we’re going to completely shut down our borders, that would stop commerce for example," she said.

The former secretary of state also rejected his call to reinstate waterboarding, stating that "we don’t need to resort to torture".