July 19, 2019 / 10:46 AM / a month ago

UK's Javid says 'send her back' chant at Trump rally unacceptable

LONDON (Reuters) - Chants of “send her back” directed at politicians are completely unacceptable in a modern democracy, British interior minister Sajid Javid said on Friday after a crowd chanted the phrase at a rally for U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump has said he was not happy with the chant, which started after he criticized Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar who was born in Somalia. At the weekend Trump said on Twitter that Omar and three other Democratic lawmakers should “go back” to where they came from.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the contenders to be the next British prime minister, have criticized Trump’s Twitter attack but have not called it racist.

“I am deeply concerned ... the chants of ‘send her back’, this is going on in the US today. Imagine if people were saying to me in Britain ‘send him back,’” said Javid, who is of Pakistani heritage.

“I’d like to think that most of society would think that’s just completely unacceptable in a modern liberal democracy.”

Javid declined to call Trump racist when asked in a follow-up question after a speech on tackling extremism.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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