British Prime Minister David Cameron will not apologize to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump for calling him “divisive, stupid, and wrong,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street has said.
Cameron made the comments after Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, drawing worldwide condemnation.
Following the withdrawal of Ted Cruz and John Kasich from the race for the Republican nomination this week, Trump is now effectively the presumptive GOP candidate for the presidency.
As Trump inches closer to the White House, his advisors are putting pressure on Cameron to mend fences. On Wednesday, George Papadopoulos, a London-based foreign policy adviser to Trump, told the Times it would be “wise” for Cameron to “reach out” to the property tycoon.
“If the prime minister is serious about reaching out, an apology or some sort of retraction should happen,” Papadopoulos said.
However, a Downing Street spokesman responded: “The prime minister has no intention of withdrawing his comments, which were made in response to comments Donald Trump made calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US.
“There will be the usual approach that happens where the government will be in contact with candidates from both of the main parties. That has happened at every US presidential election.”
Meanwhile, some in Cameron’s Tory party are urging him to make peace with Trump.
Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Wednesday: “The relationship between our two countries is too important to be affected by personal chemistry or party loyalties.
“We have a convention of keeping out of one another’s domestic politics and for good reasons. It does not make sense to be on poor terms with anyone who could end up being political leader of our closest ally.”
British officials have already been liaising with Trump’s team. It emerged last month that the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, is to meet the presidential hopeful once he has formally secured the nomination.
Trump’s call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the US came in response to the Islamic State-inspired terror attack in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14 people in December.
The remarks sparked outrage across in the UK and a petition calling for Trump to be barred from Britain amassed more than 1.5 million signatures. Though the government rejected the call, Trump was widely criticized in the House of Commons.
Cameron said at the time: “I think if he came to our country, he would unite us all against him.”