British PM says 'no equivalence' in US clashes

London (AFP) –


Far-right views should always be condemned and there could be no equivalence with opponents of fascism, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday in comments that implicitly criticised US President Donald Trump.

In the Virginia college town of Charlottesville on Saturday, a rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists over the removal of a Confederate statue erupted in clashes with counter-demonstrators.

Trump has sparked a political firestorm by reiterating his views Tuesday that there was "blame on both sides" for Saturday's violence.

The melee ended in bloodshed when a 20-year-old suspected Nazi sympathiser ploughed his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, leaving one woman dead and 19 people injured.

Asked about Trump's comments in the wake of the Charlottesville violence, May said: "I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them."

"I absolutely abhor the racism, the hatred and the violence that we have seen portrayed by these groups," she told reporters in Portsmouth on the southern English coast.

"The United Kingdom has taken action to ban far-right groups here, we have proscribed certain far-right groups," she added.

Trump, who has denounced racism and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as "criminals and thugs", has also hit out at what he called the "alt-left" over the weekend violence.

He has faced days of criticism from across the political spectrum over his reaction to the unrest.