Theresa May blasts Donald Trump over 'go back to your own country' tweets
Theresa May has hit out at Donald Trump over tweets in which he told ethnic minority Democratic politicians to go back to their own countries.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the posts were "completely unacceptable", piling pressure on Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to follow suit.
The US President sparked an angry backlash after he took aim at the prominent black and minority ethnic congresswomen.
In a string of tweets, the commander-in-chief claimed that representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe".
Despite three of the women being born in the United States, President Trump said they had come from "the worst, most corrupt and inept" countries in the world.
He added: "Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough."
The remarks drew condemnation on Monday from Mrs May's official spokesperson.
"The Prime Minister’s view is that the language that was used to refer to those women was completely unacceptable," he said.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have so far remained tight-lipped in the row.
But Mrs May's intervention will increase pressure on them to speak out ahead of their final head-to-head debate on Monday evening.
Mrs May was backed up by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson - a key supporter of Mr Hunt - who urged both Tory candidates to condemn the remarks.
She said of the Prime Minister's remarks: "She's right. And both men vying to be her successor should say so."
And Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "The President of the United States telling elected politicians - or any other Americans for that matter - to ‘go back’ to other countries is not OK, and diplomatic politeness should not stop us saying so, loudly and clearly."
The Prime Minister's condemnation follows an angry response to President Trump's tweets from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The top Democrat said Mr Trump's Twitter attack "reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again".
Ms Ocasio-Cortez meanwhile shot back: "Mr President, the country I 'come from,' & the country we all swear to, is the United States."
The latest row comes amid tension in the UK's diplomatic relations with the United States following the leak of highly critical Foreign Office cables describing the Trump White House as "uniquely dysfunctional".
The release of the cables prompted US ambassador Sir Kim Darroch to resign - and saw President Trump accuse Mrs May of making a "mess" of Brexit.