THE rights of women, ethnic minorities and LGBT communities are under threat as far-right politicians make advances across Europe and the US, the Mayor of London has warned.
Speaking exclusively to Metro, Sadiq Khan said: ‘My frustration in previous years has been the lack of progress.Now, for the first time, there’s a danger with the progress that we’ve made — on gender equality, on progress made in relation to LGBT communities — being rolled back. Men are lecturing women on reproductive rights.’
And, renewing his feud with Donald Trump — who dismissed him as a ‘stone cold loser’ who had done a ‘terrible job’ as mayor as he arrived for his UK visit — Mr Khan called the US president the ‘poster boy for the global far right’.
Mr Khan said: ‘You can’t be a sycophant when it comes to your best mate. Our expectations of the US are greater than expectations of other countries. He has normalised language and behaviour that was on the fringes. When you speak to people in Hungary, Italy, even here, the far-right movement see him as their champion.’
He added: ‘We’ve got to be very careful because we’ve seen in our country an increase in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia. That’s why we can’t be complacent, why we must always be vigilant.’ Defending his boycott of the state banquet with Mr Trump, Mr Khan said: ‘You’ve got a situation where the president of the US is defending white supremacists and neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. If you don’t call him out on that what are you going to call him out on?’
Mr Khan’s comments come just days after the Labour Party narrowly won the by-election in Peterborough, warding off a strong challenge from the Brexit Party. But new MP Lisa Forbes is already facing calls to be suspended over claims of anti-Semitism.
She has apologised for liking a Facebook post saying Theresa May followed a ‘Zionist slave masters agenda’.
But Dame Louise Ellman, a fellow Labour MP and former chair of Jewish Labour, has said the new MP should lose the whip while the party carries out an investigation.
And Mr Khan expressed dismay at the Labour Party’s failure to tackle its ongoing problem with anti-Semitism.
‘It’s all racism,’ he said. ‘To have members of the Labour Party who are clearly anti-Semitic, still members of the party, is unacceptable.
‘We’ve got to act far more quickly in kicking out anti-Semites.’