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Londoners are hitting back at Donald Trump's assertion that police are too scared to go into certain "radicalized" parts of the U.K. capital, mocking the U.S. Republican presidential candidate's grasp of reality.
Since he announced Monday that all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. due to the terrorism threat "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on," Trump has drawn condemnation from around the world, including from other prominent Republicans.
Amid outrage and disbelief at the remarks, Trump added fuel to the fire by saying during an interview with MSNBC that such a move could prevent the U.S. from ending up with "no-go areas" like London where, Trump said, there were parts of the city "so radicalized the police are afraid for their lives."
Trump's lack of understanding of life and policing in London immediately prompted a strong response from the British public and politicians. Some U.K. citizens asked for the tycoon to be banned from entering the country. Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for Trump to be barred from Britain.
On Wednesday morning, the petition had over 31,000 signatures. By midday, it had reached 100,000 signatories and could now be considered for a debate in Parliament. A debate, however, could not be triggered in the traditional manner until the U.K. petitions committee next meets, which is not until January.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the comments were "divisive, unhelpful and simply wrong." The U.K.'s finance minister, George Osborne, said Wednesday that Trump's comments flew in the face of the "founding principles of the United States."
"The best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it very clear that his views are not welcome," he said in Parliament.
An additional fast track route for a debate would be if the leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, scheduled a debate on the topic but a spokesperson for the department told CNBC there were no plans to do so.
Twitter users have also had a field day, coming up with the hashtag #TrumpFacts lampooning his comments by playing on London and British institutions.
London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement reported by British media that: "We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however on this occasion we think it's important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.
"Any candidate for the presidential election in the United States of America is welcome to receive a briefing from the Met Police on the reality of policing London," the police said.
London Mayor Boris Johnson also responded to what he called the "ill-informed comments" and said police officers were doing "excellent work" in London. Ready with a quick-witted response, Johnson added that "crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York — the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."
Meanwhile, it appears Trump is also in the process of losing his membership of a respected Scottish business network. A Scottish government spokesperson told CNBC that his recent remarks have shown that he is "no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland," adding that Scotland's first minister has decided his membership of the GlobalScot business network should immediately be withdrawn.
The leader of the left-wing Labour Party and opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, also condemned the comments on Twitter. The image of Corbyn, who is seen as leaning toward the more "radical" end of the left, was also used by one Twitter user's satirical response.