Donald Trump deserves respect for success during 'gruelling' primaries, says PM
Donald Trump deserves "respect" for emerging as the Republican presumptive nominee for the US presidency, Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted - even though he still condemns the reality TV star's views on Muslims.
Mr Cameron branded Mr Trump's call for foreign Muslims to be temporarily banned form entering the US as "stupid, divisive, and wrong" in the Commons last December, but has now struck a more conciliatory note towards the man expected to face Hillary Clinton in the November race for the White House.
Asked if he should apologise to Mr Trump for branding him "stupid", Mr Cameron said he stood by his opposition to the Republican's stance on Muslims.
He said: "It is a matter for voters in the United States to decide who they choose as their next president.
"I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries, and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election certainly deserves our respect.
"What I said about Muslims, I won't change that view, I don't change that view. I am very clear that the policy idea that was put forward was wrong, is wrong, and will remain wrong, so I am very clear about that," Mr Cameron said during a joint press conference in Downing Street with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe.
In response to Mr Trump's incendiary anti-Muslim comments in December, Mr Cameron said he was proud to be prime minister of such a diverse country as the UK.
"I think his remarks are divisive, stupid, and wrong. If he came to visit our country, I think he would unite us all against him," Mr Cameron told the Commons.