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Theresa May Says She "Won't Be Afraid" To Challenge Donald Trump

May will become the first foreign leader to meet President Trump when she travels to Washington, DC, later this week.

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Theresa May has said she will challenge Donald Trump whenever he says or does anything she deems "unacceptable".

The prime minister will become the first foreign leader to meet the new US president when she travels to Washington, DC, later this week.

May has previously described some of Trump's comments during the election campaign as “divisive, unhelpful, and wrong", and she told the BBC she "won't be afraid" to confront him in the future and had a "strong track record" on women's rights.

"When I sit down I think the biggest statement about the role of women is that I will be there as a female prime minister," May said on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show, a day after hundreds of thousands of women around the world took part in marches on the first day of Trump's presidency.

"I will be talking to Donald Trump about the issues that we share, about how we can build on the special relationship – it’s the special relationship that also enables us to say when we do find things unacceptable."

She added: "Whenever there is something that I find unacceptable I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump."

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there were "no signs of the special relationship" in Trump's inaugural address.

"It was quite the opposite," he said. "It was America first, America only, America inward-looking. I would hope that when [May] meets Donald Trump she will in no uncertain terms tell him that his misogyny during the election campaign, the way in which he described Muslim people and others of different faiths, the way in which he proposes to build a wall between his country and Mexico, is simply not acceptable, and not the right way of going forward."

Corbyn warned May to be "extremely careful" in her dealings with Trump. "We want good relations with the United States – obviously. But I think Trump, and the way in which he behaved in the campaign, and the speech he made, and the massive demonstrations all over the USA yesterday as well as in London and other parts of the world... [she] needs to think about that."

Trump has previously said he was “very much” looking forward to meeting May, describing Britain in a tweet as a "longtime ally".

I look very much forward to meeting Prime Minister Theresa May in Washington in the Spring. Britain, a longtime U.S. ally, is very special!

In an interview with Tory MP Michael Gove for The Times earlier this month, Trump said Brexit was “going to end up being a great thing” and expressed enthusiasm for a new US–UK trade deal.

“I’m a big fan of the UK, we’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly,” he said. “Good for both sides... we’ll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and it’ll be, I think we’re gonna get something done very quickly.”

European diplomats have told BuzzFeed News they are worried about the implications of closer ties between post-Brexit Britain and Trump's America.

“The world is turning upside down. A US president is calling NATO obsolete, a French president is defending NATO, and the Brits, who are usually the pragmatists, are now being driven by nationalism and ideology,” a diplomat from a major eurozone nation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Champion at

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