Watch: Trump supporters storm U.S Capitol
British politicians from all parties have condemned the “profoundly shocking” scenes of Donald Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in Washington DC.
Boris Johnson branded the images emerging from the US “disgraceful”.
Amid violent clashes with police, protesters breached barricades and were able to enter the building on Capitol Hill.
Mr Trump had previously urged his supporters to travel to Washington to protest over Congress’ formal approval of Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election.
Both chambers of Congress were forced into an abrupt recess by the protests as they were debating the Electoral College vote that gave Mr Biden the presidency.
Police told politiicans to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda amid skirmishes.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
One woman was shot dead inside the building - believed to be a Trump supporter - with multiple other casualties.
Many other senior Conservative ministers tweeted their disgust at the protests - without singling out Trump.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “The US rightly takes great pride in its democracy, and there can be no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: “In any democracy the peaceful transition of power is just as important as the vote itself. There is no excuse for the deplorable scenes coming from the US Capitol today.”
Cabinet Minister Robert Buckland, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, tweeted: “Terrible scenes at the US Congress today. To our great friends in the US, we have always admired your peaceful transfers of power and the graceful acceptance by candidates of both electoral victory and defeat. Those who seek to undermine this must never prevail.”
The Labour leader Keir Starmer branded the scenes “horrendous”.
He tweeted: “Horrendous scenes from the US. These are not ‘protesters’ – this a direct attack on democracy and legislators carrying out the will of the American people.”
The Twitter account of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has asked that people “pray for the USA”.
The tweet read: “There will be many lessons to be learned from the scenes in Washington.
“For the moment let us pray for the USA, the world’s greatest defender of democracy until now, as it faces this huge shock. May God bless America with peace and reconciliation.”
Other MPs singled out the President - either directly or indirectly.
America is the world's biggest, most important democracy, a shining light on the hill for freedom. Pres Trump told a crowd to march on Capitol Hill & turned on his VP for upholding the law. He shames American democracy tonight & causes its friends anguish but he is not America
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 6, 2021
Former Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt has said that Donald Trump “shames American democracy tonight”.
He tweeted: “America is the world’s biggest, most important democracy, a shining light on the hill for freedom.
“Pres Trump told a crowd to march on Capitol Hill & turned on his VP for upholding the law. He shames American democracy tonight & causes its friends anguish but he is not America”.
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has described events in Washington DC as “an affront to democracy”.
“The end of @realDonaldTrump Presidency cannot come quick enough,” he tweeted.
“What a legacy the events of today are to his time in office. Shameful, shocking an affront to democracy.”
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in (the United States) on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy.”
Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said: “Terrible scenes from the USA.
“This is the legacy of a politics of hate that pits people against each other and threatens the foundations of democracy.
“We must stand firm with legislators under attack and the American people who have the right to choose their own destiny.”
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Emily Thornberry described the scenes in Washington as “profoundly shocking”.
She tweeted: “Profoundly shocking scenes in the Capitol tonight.
“Listening to Republican Congressman Kinzinger saying ‘if this was Belarus we’d be calling it a coup attempt’. ‘The guard rails will hold’. ‘The President is guilty of cowardice – he should accept that he’s lost’.”
Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “Donald Trump is an enemy of democracy. Every British politician who failed to condemn his actions after the presidential election should issue an apology tonight.”
The mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has tweeted: “Any UK politician who gave Trump the time of day should be ashamed right now.
Elsewhere, former Conservative MP and Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames has tweeted: “Finally the World can see that Trump is a maniac”.
He also tweeted: “Never in a lifetime could one imagine such appalling scenes in the Capitol. A testament to the unspeakably vile behaviour of Pres Trump now confirmed to be a very very bad man.
“A terrible incalculable tragedy to see scenes like this in the Capital City of our closest dearest Ally, partner and friend in the defence of Freedom and Democracy for generations.”
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