An online petition to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has become the most popular on the Government’s website as it soared towards half a million signatures.
The property tycoon and reality TV star, who is seeking the Republican nomination for next year’s presidential election, sparked outrage with his call for Muslims to be barred from entering the US and his claim that parts of London were so “radicalised” that police feared for their lives.
Prime Minister David Cameron said his comments were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”, while London Mayor Boris Johnson said they rendered him “unfit to hold the office of the president of the United States”.
A poll on the parliamentary website calling for his exclusion from the UK raced past the 100,000-signature threshold to be considered for debate in Parliament and has now topped the previous record of 446,482.
But polls taken in the US after the remarks were publicised showed a spike in support among Republican primary voters, with Mr Trump on around 35% and as many as 20 points ahead of his main rivals.
Mr Trump was unrepentant as he posted a message on Twitter: “The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem. Everybody is wise to what is happening, very sad! Be honest.”
Asked for Mr Cameron’s response to the businessman’s latest claim, a Downing Street spokesman said: “He wouldn’t agree.”