The Mayor of London has directly linked Donald Trump’s time as US president with a rise in racial abuse towards him. Sadiq Khan, speaking at Stanford University near San Francisco on his US trade mission, said the abuse declined drastically once Trump was banned from the social media platform.
The former US president criticized Khan, the first Muslim to be elected the mayor of a major Western city, on multiple occasions, including in response to the London Bridge terror attacks in 2016 and in 2019 when he branded Khan a ‘stone cold loser’ who had failed to manage crime rates in the capital.
Khan took the opportunity to warn Tesla boss Elon Musk about allowing Trump to return to Twitter, saying the former president should only be allowed to do so if he uses the platform “responsibly” and if there are consequences if he breaks the rules.
During his appearance at the Stanford Speakers Bureau, Khan said: “During those four years he was president, that led to me having to receive police protection and a lot of racial abuse. In the last year of him being president, once he was banned from Twitter, I received the least racial abuse of any time over five years. On the one hand, social media – Facebook Twitter – great. On the other hand, that’s the consequence of lack of control and lack of regulation.”
On Elon Musk, who has said he will reverse the Twitter ban on Trump and make permanent account suspensions a ‘rare thing’ if his takeover deal is finalised, Khan continued: “Let’s wait and see if Donald Trump has learnt his lesson.
“If it’s the case that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter responsibly, I think that’s all well and good. If he breaks the rules, there needs to be consequences and we can’t afford a situation where people think social media is where people behave irresponsibly, where you see an increase in not just racism, sexism and misogyny but also division. I hope Elon Musk, now he’s in charge of Twitter, understands that.”
So far on his visit to America, the London Mayor has thrown the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, met with officials from Google and LinkedIn in Silicon Valley, met Hilary Clinton and the Mayor of New York, and visited the world’s largest early-stage investor Plug and Play, which has announced new operations in London and Warwickshire.
Plug and Play, which was an early investor in Google, PayPal, and Dropbox, aims to make up to 30 investments per year into UK early-stage start-ups.
Joined by 11 founds from some of London’s women-led tech companies looking to explore investment and expansion opportunities in the US, Khan said: “I’m delighted to be in Silicon Valley today to bang the drum for even more investment in London by American tech companies.
London is already the number one destination for American tech companies to expand, showing we are an unrivalled destination for businesses to invest in. It is great news that even more leading US tech companies have unveiled plans to invest in and create new jobs in our capital, and I want to invite businesses from across the sector and beyond to set their sights on London.”
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