Trump on London knife crime 'war zone'

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A tent covers the scene where a 20-year-old man collapsed after being fatally stabbed near Link Street, Hackney on 5 April this year

US President Donald Trump has deplored London’s knife crime, at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) meeting.

Lauding US gun rights, the president said he recently read that an unspecified London hospital was “like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds”.

He also told the firearms lobby’s conference in Dallas, Texas, that American gun rights were “under siege”.

Mr Trump is due to visit the UK this summer, after previously cancelling a trip amid calls for mass protests.

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Media captionKnife crime: What’s it like to be stabbed?

“I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds,” he said on Friday.

“They don’t have guns. They have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital.

“They say it’s as bad as a military warzone hospital. Knives, knives, knives, knives.” Mr Trump mimed a stabbing motion.

“London hasn’t been used to that. They’re getting used to it. It’s pretty tough.”

It is not the first time Mr Trump has remarked on security in the UK capital.

Last year he criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his handling of terrorist attacks in the city.

The White House recently announced that the US president would visit the UK on 13 July.

Mayor Khan said Mr Trump would find that Londoners hold their freedom of speech “very dear”.

It was Mr Trump’s fourth address to the NRA and his second in office. The last president to do so was Ronald Reagan in 1983.

An estimated 80,000 people have attended this year’s NRA convention in Dallas.

The lobby supported Mr Trump during his 2016 presidential election, spending over $11m (£8m) in advertisements for him, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

After a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead in February, Mr Trump said he would “fight” the NRA on gun control.

At the time the president appeared to support raising the age limit of purchasing rifles, closing background check loopholes and confiscating firearms from mentally ill individuals.

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He later said there was “not much political support”.

Mr Trump instead pushed a proposal to provide firearms training to school employees.

His administration, however, has taken steps to, which allow a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.

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