‘Khan Is a Disaster’: President Trump Says London Needs a New Mayor After Spate of Knife Attacks

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
June 15, 2019 Updated: June 15, 2019

President Donald Trump called for the ouster of London’s mayor Sadiq Khan after five separate attacks in the city left three dead and others injured over a span of 24 hours.

In reaction to British commentator Katie Hopkin’s post about the attacks, Trump criticized Khan for the violence, while warning that the situation could get worse.

“LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!” Trump wrote on Twitter on June 15.

Trump and Khan have not been on friendly terms and have feuded in the past on a number of occasions. During Trump’s state visit to the U.K. early this month, he took time to criticize Khan before landing in London.

The president was responding to Khan’s comments prior to the president’s arrival, where the mayor criticized Trump, saying his country was wrong to “roll out the red carpet” for Trump’s visit. Khan also accused Trump of “standing up and defending white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Semites in Charlottesville.”

In response, Trump called Khan a “stone-cold loser who should focus on crime in London”—which is an ongoing problem that has plagued the city.

“Sadiq Khan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone-cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“Kahn [sic] reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job—only half his height,” he said.

London’s murder rates had skyrocketed in recent years, with murders also increasing, according to London’s Metropolitan Police. Property crime has risen as well since Khan took office.

Moreover, knife crimes in England and Wales had surged to its highest-ever level between 2017 and 2018. In a report that was released at the time, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the total of 39,332 recorded knife crimes between July 2017 and June 2018 represents a 12 percent rise in violent crime involving edged weapons and other sharp instruments.

The BBC reported that between June 14 and 15, police have arrested 14 people in connection to the five attacks.

On Friday, June 14, police responded to a stabbing death of an 18-year-old in Wandsworth, south London at about 4:42 p.m. Minutes later, police were called to Plumstead, south-east London where a 19-year-old man was shot dead.

Then on Saturday, June 15, two men were stabbed in Clapham during the early hours of the morning, while another man was stabbed in Brixton. The condition of one of the men in Clapham is still unknown, while the other two are suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

On Saturday afternoon, a man in his thirties was stabbed to death at Tower Hamlets in east London, the news broadcaster also reported.

Reacting to the incidents, Khan said he was “sickened” by the deaths of the two teenagers,

“I am sickened to hear that two young lives have been ended within minutes of each other in Wandsworth & Greenwich,” he wrote.

UK Police say the increase in knife crimes has been driven by several factors, including rivalries between drug gangs, cuts to youth services and provocations on social media. Moreover, many of these incidents have occurred in poor areas of London.

NTD reporter Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.