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PM sends 'good luck' messages to Trump and Clinton

Published 07/11/2016

Theresa May refused to tip a winner but called for a 'calm and measured' US election
Theresa May refused to tip a winner but called for a 'calm and measured' US election

Donald Trump has been wished good luck in his bid to become United States president by Theresa May.

The Prime Minister at the same time wished his rival Hillary Clinton luck as the final day of election campaigning got under way, sticking to the Government's position of not expressing a preference in foreign elections.

But the comments, from a Number 10 spokesman, were seized on by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who referenced the numerous allegations of sexual assault that have engulfed the Republican candidate's campaign.

Mr Farron said: "Donald Trump is not just mad and bad but he's also dangerous. Why would you wish him luck?

"I have never seen anyone so unworthy of the office of the presidency in history.

"He is a nasty misogynist and woefully under prepared for the immense responsibility that comes with sitting in the Oval Office.

"I am worried that millions of people will vote for him this week. The party of Abraham Lincoln is now the party of Donald Trump."

Mr Farron spoke after a Downing Street spokesman was asked if the PM had a message for the two candidates.

At a Westminster briefing, the spokesman replied: "I think the Prime Minister would wish them both good luck", and insisted the Government would not express a preference for the outcome of foreign elections.

Mrs May has been at pains to remain neutral since becoming PM and said last night only that she would prefer the US election to be held in a "calm and measured" fashion.

As home secretary Mrs May told a Commons committee last year that Mr Trump's comments about barring Muslims from the US were "divisive, unhelpful and wrong".

But she did not respond when asked, during a visit to India, whether she stood by her remark.

The PM insisted that the choice of a US president was a matter for the American people.

But asked about the feverish atmosphere amid which the contest has played out, she said: "I take a simple view about the way in which I like to see campaigns conducted. I like to see them conducted in a calm and measured way with proper consideration of the issues.

"As to the result of the election, it's up to the American people and we'll know that very soon."

The row over Downing Street's neutral stance came as the rival campaigns engaged in a final push for votes on the eve of polling day.

Both candidates were engaging in a whistle-stop tour of key states in an attempt to find any late advantage in the race for the White House.

Mrs Clinton insisted that "we're just going to work until the last vote is counted" as she campaigned in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina.

In an acknowledgement of the bitter divisions exposed by the presidential campaign, she said there was "some work to do to bring the country together" if she wins.

Meanwhile Mr Trump plans to keep up the breakneck pace of his campaign, including on polling day.

On Monday, his campaign was targeting Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. After voting in New York on Tuesday morning, Mr Trump was expected to return to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and New Hampshire later in the day.

Mrs Clinton has been boosted by the FBI's announcement that the latest emails linked to her use of a private server did not alter its decision not to press charges.

Mr Trump has accused the FBI of impropriety for declaring that Mrs Clinton should not face criminal charges over her handling of classified information while US secretary of state.

The Trump campaign criticised the FBI probe, suggesting the latest rapid review of a Clinton aide's emails could not have been thorough.

"They've bungled the investigation from the beginning," Trump spokesman Jason Miller said on US broadcaster CNN. Mr Miller called for the FBI to release the newly-discovered emails belonging to aide Huma Abedin.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's campaign manager has insisted that he has not been stopped by his staff from tweeting.

The usually outspoken candidate has appeared more restrained online in recent days and the New York Times claimed on Sunday that aides "have finally wrested away" his Twitter account.

But his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway insisted: "No, it's not true."

Press Association

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