US President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Saturday after three men were killed in the British capital in separate knife and gun attacks in less than 24 hours.
Two teenagers were killed within ten minutes of each other on Friday afternoon. The first, an 18-year-old man was stabbed to death in Wandsworth, in south-west London, and the second man, 19, was killed in a shooting in Plumstead, in the south-east of the capital.
Less than 24 hours later, a third man, 30, was killed in Poplar, north-east London, after suffering stab injuries.
Detectives for the Homicide and Major Crime Command have launched investigations for all three of the attacks. So far, they have charged two males, 17 and 18, with murder for the attack in Wandsworth and arrested four — four males and one girl between the ages of 16 and 18— for the shooting.
According to the murdermap project, which tracks homicides in London, 59 murders have been recorded in the British capital so far in 2019. Last year, 134 people were killed in London, according to the Metropolitan Police, the highest figure in a decade.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday that he was "sickened to hear that two young lives have been ended within minutes of each other."
But Trump used the burst of violence in London to launch a fresh attack on Khan, retweeting a post by right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins — who lost jobs at a newspaper and radio station for branding migrants "cockroaches" and calling for a "final solution" for Islamic terrorism respectively — in which she had described the British capital as "Stab-City" and "Khan's Londonistan".
"London needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster — will only get worse!" the US president tweeted. He doubled down in a separate post, saying that Khan is "a national disgrace who is destroying the City of London!"
'Stone cold loser'
There is no lost love between the American leader and Sadiq Khan — London's first Muslim mayor. Their public row started before both were elected to their current offices with Khan criticising then-candidate Trump for his proposed plan to ban foreign Muslims from the US.
It escalated in June 2017 after Trump falsely suggested that Khan had told the British public they had "no reason to be alarmed" following a terror attack in London Bridge in which 11 people, including the three perpetrators, had died.
Khan had instead said that Londoners had "no reason to be alarmed" by the increased police presence and responded upon being asked that he had "more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump's ill-informed tweet" before calling for Trump's planned state visit to be cancelled.
A year later, Khan authorised a giant blimp depicting Trump as a crying baby to be flown during an anti-Trump protest ahead of the US President's working visit to the UK during which Trump criticised Khan's record on crime.
The attacks started again in June when Trump described Khan in a tweet posted as he was flying over to the UK for a state visit as "a stone cold loser".
Khan, meanwhile, criticised the UK for rolling out the "red carpet" for Trump and said that "there are many, many racists who think he's (Trump) their poster boy."