A letter of solidarity to the US Congresswomen Donald Trump has targeted for “disgusting” racist abuse has been signed by almost 14,000 people in the UK.
Coordinated by the anti-racism campaign Hope Not Hate, it has been signed by Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan, and a string of other politicians and activists.
It comes after Trump again left the world aghast when he fired off a series of tweets, telling four Democrat politicians they should “go back” to where they “came” from.
The US president doubled down on his racist attack days later, describing the women as “hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down”.
He added: “They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, ‘Hey if you don’t like it, let ’em leave, let ’em leave’.”
His jabs were all aimed at the self-described “squad” of four Democrats who have garnered attention for their outspoken views and distaste for the president: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
When asked to defend his tweets, Trump said on Monday: “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”
All were born in the US except for Omar, who arrived there as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family. She has been a US citizen longer than the First Lady, Melania Trump.
The story took a darker twist on Wednesday night at a Republican rally led by Trump.
Taking the politicians on one at a time, Trump ticked through a list of what he deemed offensive comments by each woman, misconstruing many facts along the way.
Omar came under the harshest criticism as Trump played to voters’ grievances, drawing a chant from the crowd of “Send her back! Send her back!”
The president made no attempt to stop the chanting and appeared to bask in the moment.
The letter of solidarity from UK leaders tells the women of colour he is targeting: “You embody the best of America. Its diversity is its strength.”
“We are disgusted by Donald Trump’s attack on you. His blatant, unashamed racism has appalled people around the world.
“Thank you for showing the world that America can still provide leadership to be proud of, even when the White House has abdicated that role.
“We stand in solidarity with you.”
Omar led the response to Trump’s attack with a series of tweets in which she quoted Maya Angelou, telling Trump supporters, “I am where I belong”.
Matthew McGregor, campaigns director at Hope Not Hate, said: “Donald Trump’s racist tweets were a disgusting attack on four congresswomen of colour. Trump’s racism crosses borders - his slurs have an impact around the world and have given heart to white nationalists everywhere.
“We want Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley to know that from across the political spectrum in Britain, thousands and thousands of people are grateful for their leadership, for the hope they give people, and that they have our solidarity.”
The letter has been signed by:
Nick Lowles, CEO, HOPE not hate
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Tim Roache, General Secretary, GMB
Rushanara Ali MP
Marsha De Cordova MP
Chi Onwurah MP
Mike Amesbury MP
Tonia Antoniazzi MP
Hilary Benn MP
Luciana Berger MP
Yvette Cooper MP
Tom Copley AM
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Angela Eagle MP
Gill Furniss MP
Ruth George MP
Roger Godsiff MP
Louise Haigh MP
Margaret Hodge MP
Sharon Hodgson MP
Baroness Hughes of Stretford
Diana Johnson MP
Ruth Jones MP
Barbara Keeley MP
Afzal Khan MP
Baroness Lister of Burtersett
Caroline Lucas MP
Sandy Martin MP
Catherine McKinnell MP
Anna McMorrin MP
Lisa Nandy MP
Jess Phillips MP
Yasmin Qureshi MP
Angela Rayner MP
Paula Sherriff MP
Valerie Vaz MP
Tom Watson MP
Leanne Wood AM
Baron Wood of Anfield
Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA
Sam Tarry, President and Chair, CLASS
and 13,809 others