George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, has said Donald Trump will not be banned from the UK despite talking “nonsense” for saying police “fear for their lives” in radicalised London.
Standing in for David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Osborne joined the chorus of disapproval from across Britain over the US Presidential candidates inflammatory remarks over banning Muslims from entering the US.
But he said critics should "engage in a robust democratic argument with him" when urged by MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh to make Mr Trump the 85th "hate preacher" banned by Home Secretary Theresa May.
He told her: "That is the best way to deal with Donald Trump and his views rather than trying to ban Presidential candidates."
Trump: "We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives."
His comments come as more than 100,000 people have signed a parliamentary petition calling for the property mogul to be stopped from entering the UK - a figure that could trigger a Commons debate.
Mr Osborne told MPs: “The Metropolitan Police do a brilliant job and of course they have fantastic relations with the British Muslims and I think British Muslims make a massive contribution to our country.
“Frankly, Donald Trump’s comments fly in the face of the founding principles of the United States and it’s one of the reasons why those founding principles have proved such an inspiration to so many people over the last couple of hundred years. I think the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it clear his views are not welcome.”
Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, Scotland's first female Muslim MP, joined David Cameron, JK Rowling and many others in yesterday condemning the business tycoon’s call to close the US borders to Muslims following the California and Paris atrocities.
Mr Trump went on to claim: "We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant."
In response, London mayor Boris Johnson said: "The only reason I wouldn't go to parts of New York is the very real risk of meeting Donald Trump."
But the Government appears reluctant to block him entering the UK. His business interests include three golf courses in the UK and Ireland after buying the famous Turnberry venue last year.
On "hate speech", a spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Trump had "not been convicted of any crime".
He said: "The commentary that was made by Mr Trump was clearly playing to an American audience, ahead of those primaries in six weeks' time."
Asked if Mr Osborne's words were a signal that the Government had decided not to ban Mr Trump, he added: "That's a hypothetical question. I'm not aware of any plans Mr Trump has to come to the UK."
"He made some comments which were clearly unacceptable. The Prime Minister has given our response, the Chancellor echoed that response today."
Asked about the suggestion that the Home Office could ban Trump on grounds of 'hate speech', a spokesman for the Chancellor added: "Donald Trump has not been convicted of any crime."