The far-right group Britain First has boasted of gaining hundreds of new membership applications after Donald Trump shared anti-Muslim videos it had posted online, sparking a transatlantic row with Theresa May.
Britain First leader Paul Golding also said the group’s Facebook posts were reaching hundreds of thousands more users.
The 35 year-old told The Times: “We have had hundreds of new membership applications and our organic Facebook reach has increased by hundreds of thousands.”
The Prime Minister has said Mr Trump was “wrong” to retweet videos posted by Britain First’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen, which she condemned as a “hateful organisation” dedicated to spreading division and mistrust.
The extraordinary flare-up between the two key allies came after Mr Trump responded directly to her assertion – originally made through her official spokesman – that his re-postings had been wrong.
In a trademark tweet, he wrote: “Theresa-May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
Mrs May has since rejected calls to cancel his controversial state visit, despite an outcry from MPs, insisting she remained committed to the “special relationship” between the UK and US.
Pressed on whether the president’s state visit should still go ahead, Mrs May said they had “yet to set a date”.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday rejected suggestions Mr Trump’s comments had “elevated” a far-right group little known outside the UK.
“I think what he’s done is elevate the conversation to talk about a real issue and a real threat and that’s extreme violence and extreme terrorism, something that we know to be very real and something the president feels strongly about talking about and bringing up and making sure is an issue every single day,” she told a White House press briefing.
In pointed remarks apparently aimed at Mr Trump on Thursday, Mrs May said it was essential to deal with terrorism and extremism “from whatever source they come”.
Asked whether she regarded the president as a “supporter and enabler” of far-right groups, Mrs May said: “We must all take seriously the threat that far-right groups pose both in terms of the terrorist threat that is posed by those groups and the necessity of dealing with extremist material which is far-right as well.
“I’ve commented in…