Emily Thornberry has said the Labour Party is willing to meet Donald Trump when he visits the UK next month, despite the fact she still believes him to be “an asteroid of awfulness” and “a bully”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the shadow foreign secretary said she stood by comments she made on the programme in January, but that she would be willing to meet Trump face-to-face if an invitation is extended.
“I called him an asteroid of awfulness. But that’s what he is,” she said.
“We do not share values with Donald Trump when he wants to walk away from the Paris climate change agreement, when he wants to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.
“I am quite happy to say that openly, and I will say that to his face. I have no problem with that and we must be clear about that. In my view, when you have a bully like that, you have to stand up to them and be clear about what you disagree on.”
She added: “The protocol is that a visiting leader will ask to see the Opposition [for a meeting] if they want to. If we are asked, then of course we will go and see him.”
The Islington MP dismissed the suggestion she had gone “out of her way” to offend the President, who will arrive in the UK on July 13, but said Theresa May’s approach to relations had not worked.
“Theresa May has been as nice to him as she possibly can, and he still cant work out how many points out of 10 he wants to give her,” she added.
Her previous damning comments, made after Trump cancelled a proposed visit to the US embassy in London, represented one of the most outspoken attacks on the President by a UK politician.
At the time Thornberry said she thought Trump was “a danger and a racist” and that she did not want him in the country.