Theresa May has said Donald Trump’s approach to child migrants in the United States is “wrong” and “not something we agree with”.
The Prime Minister, who has been under pressure to condemn the immigration practices adopted in the US, said images appearing to show children being held in cages were “deeply disturbing”.
Ahead of the president’s visit to the UK in July, Mrs May said the nature of the “special” relationship with the United States meant “when we disagree with what they are doing, we say so”.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, she said: “The pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong, this is not something that we agree with.
“This is not the United Kingdom’s approach.
“Indeed, when I was home secretary, I ended the routine detention of families with children.”
She was responding to questions from SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who said her answer was “disappointing” and “we should all be unreservedly condemning the actions of Donald Trump”.
The Prime Minister told him: “I clearly and wholly, unequivocally said that that was wrong.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has previously denounced the policy which has seen more than 2,000 children divided from their families in six weeks on the southern US border as “abhorrent and repulsive”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was “tragic and shocking” to see the children held in cages at migrant camps as their parents were taken off for prosecution.
Mr Trump is facing pressure from both sides of the political divide in Washington to end a “zero-tolerance” approach to illegal border crossings which requires adult migrants to be held in custody for prosecution, separated from their children.