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Prime Minister Theresa May managed to gain support among her traditional opponents on Friday, after President Donald Trump launched an explosive attack on her Brexit policies whilst on a visit to the United Kingdom.
Trump’s latest remarks on U.K. politics have sparked a wave of criticism against the U.S. leader. In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said May had ignored his advice on Brexit, adding that a trade deal between the countries might be called off as a result. He also said that the former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — who resigned from government last Monday following divisions with May — would be a good leader.
“I don’t think that feeling sorry for the British prime minister is a good look, I haven’t felt sorry for her, I have many criticisms of her, but actually today I feel sorry for her,” Emily Thornberry, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour party told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Friday.
“Imagine how she was feeling when she was standing on the steps of Blenheim Palace with all of the guards around her at the birth place of Winston Churchill to greet the American president who had just said that there would be no trade deal, that the Brexit negotiations were nonsense, that Boris Johnson would be a good prime minister, etc, etc all sorts of extraordinary insults of Britain,” Thornberry said.
Trump was received Thursday evening by the U.K. prime minister at Blenheim Palace, as part of his working visit to the United Kingdom. While both leaders were meeting, the British tabloid newspaper published an exclusive interview with Trump where he blasted the U.K. leader and her policies.
“When you go to someone’s house you do not insult your host and frankly this is absolutely basic behavior, (Trump) should have not done that. But what did (May) do? She went up the steps with him and she held his hand again. Stop holding his hand … This man is a bully and you have to stand up to bullies, if you don’t then they walk all over you,” Thornberry added.
Meanwhile, Barry Gardiner, another Labour lawmaker, made similar remarks, telling CNBC that the U.S. president is “clearly somebody who likes to steer things up.”
“Some people believe that by doing this rather bullying, hectoring tactics he can force other people to make concessions to him that otherwise they might not make,” Gardiner said, describing this attitude as Trump’s usual style both in business and in politics.
Theresa May and Donald Trump are set to meet again Friday at around lunchtime.