- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
- Donald Trump attacked London over knife crime on Friday.
- At a pro-gun event, he said one unnamed London hospital was a “war zone” with “blood all over the floors.”
- He then mimed stabbing the air, and added: “Knives, knives, knives.”
- His remarks come ahead of his first visit to the UK in July.
Donald Trump has attacked London over knife crime, comparing one hospital in the British capital to a “war zone” at a pro-gun event.
Speaking at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas on Friday, the US president referenced a news article he said he had read to criticise Britain’s tight gun laws amid a recent spike in stabbings in London.
“I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle, is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds. Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns, they have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital,” he said.
The US president then mimed stabbing the air with a knife and added: “Knives, knives, knives.”
In February, London’s monthly murder rate overtook New York’s for the first time (15 to 14) – though New York had seen more murders in 2018 overall if January’s figures are included.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has decried knife attacks as a “scourge on our communities” – but argued the problem is not unique to London. “Knife crime over the last year rose at a similar rate in London (23%) as it did across the whole of England and Wales (21%),” he wrote in a Facebook post in April. “This is a national problem that requires national solutions – which must mean Government action.”
Trump’s intervention has the potential to further inflame tensions ahead of his first visit to Britain in July. Activists are already planning major demonstrations to protest the visit, and Trump has previously feuded with Khan over his comments about Islam and terror attacks in London.
It’s not clear what hospital Trump was referring to on Friday – though The Guardian suggests it may be the Royal London Hospital, based on an story the Daily Mail did about a surgeon working there. “Some of my military colleagues have described the practice here as similar to being at [former British airbase in Afghanistan, Camp] Bastion, which is a very worrying comment to hear,” the surgeon said.
Here’s a video of Trump’s remarks:
Watch the moment @realDonaldTrumpfeigns a knife attack as he tells the NRA an unnamed Londonhospital is “like a war zone for horrible stabbingwounds” https://t.co/BqRKleCpKd pic.twitter.com/EKEjz8up1M
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 4, 2018