Jeremy Hunt says 'send her back' chants at Trump rally are ‘deeply concerning'

Rebecca Speare-Cole

Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt has described the "send her back" chants which broke out at a Donald Trump rally as "deeply concerning".

The chants broke out at a campaign rally where Mr Trump stepped up his attack against four liberal Congresswomen, who he accused of "hating" the United States.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday that Mr Trump’s language was “totally offensive.”

Speaking to Channel 5, Mr Hunt said the chants were “the real danger of using the words like the president used”.

“Many people seeing that will be deeply concerned that you can set off a chain of events that are deeply, deeply unfortunate,” he said.

“There is absolutely no place in this country for the language that the president used which I think is totally offensive.

"I think one of the things we can be proud of in this country is that we have politicians -whichever party they are from - to bring people of different backgrounds, different races, different colours together and that’s why this is a real concern.”

Mr Trump launched his fresh tirade in North Carolina on Wednesday, where he unloaded a list of complaints against Ilhan Omar, one of the four Democratic lawmakers known as "the squad", who he has targetted in a series of attacks over the past week.

The other three women are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan

The row began when he sent “racist” tweets telling the four women - three of whom are US-born - to "go back" to the "crime-infested place from which they came."

Mr Hunt condemned the comments during a leadership debate earlier this week, but declined to describe the remarks as "racist."

Jeremy Hunt calls chants of “send her back” at Trump rally ‘deeply concerning’ on Channel 5. (Channel 5)

When asked why he had held back on describing the remarks in this way, Mr Hunt said he did not want to damage US relations as Foreign Secretary.

“I have not used that word because I’m Foreign Secretary," he replied. "I am responsible for our relations with the United States.

"I happen to believe that relationship is one of the most in the world. It has kept peace and security for the last 70 years and it would damage that relationship if I, as Foreign Secretary used that word.”

Mr Hunt continued to say that he still hoped he made his feelings plain to how “deeply upsetting” he believes the use of that language is, adding that he would be "deeply appalled" if his half-Chinese children were told to go back to China.

"So I think it is deeply important that political leaders use language that brings people together," he said.