The US President, Donald Trump, has sparked an angry backlash in the UK with a tweet linking a rise in the crime rate to “radical Islamic terror”.
He said: “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!”
The Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, accused Mr Trump of fuelling hate crime with his “ignorant” comments.
The Home Office declined to comment.
Crime in England and Wales went up by 13% in the 12 months to June, fuelled by a 26% increase in knife crime and a 19% increase in sexual offences, according to the latest figures, published on Thursday.
The number of homicides (cases of murder and manslaughter) increased by 46 to 629, excluding the terror attacks in London and Manchester.
Yvette Cooper said in a statement: “Hate crime in the UK has gone up by almost 30% and rubbish like this tweet from Donald Trump is designed to provoke even more of it.
“It is appalling that we have reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the President of the United States are now seen as normal.
“If we are to properly tackle hate crime and every other crime, we have to challenge this kind of nonsense.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called on Theresa May to “publicly condemn” Donald Trump for “outright fearmongering”.
She added: “Donald Trump’s reactionary tweet isn’t just inaccurate, it’s also inflammatory.
“It’s about time that the British government take a stand against Trump’s bigotry, and make a clear public statement saying that his damaging remarks are unwelcome.”
The former Labour minister, Hilary Benn, told BBC News: “I am sure we would all appreciate it if we could see a reduction in the number of tweets like this from the president of the United States.”
Labour’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, tweeted: “Officer, I’d like to report a hate crime.”
The Office for National Statistics said it would not comment on Mr Trump’s tweet, but added that the survey relates to all crimes in England and Wales between 2016 and 2017.
The statistics show that in the year ending June 2017, of the 664 homicides in England and Wales, 35 were caused by the London and Manchester terror attacks.