Trump claims knife crime turns London hospital into war zone

Donald Trump has defended the use of guns in America by comparing a London hospital to a "war zone" because of knife crime.

Speaking at a pro-gun rally, the US president claimed that knife crime in London is so bad that one unnamed hospital in the capital is "like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds", with "blood all over the floors".

Mr Trump's comments come ahead of a visit to the UK in July, although a trip to the capital has not been confirmed.

Mr Trump told the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas: "I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds.

"Yes that's right, they don't have guns, they have knives. And instead there's blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it's as bad as a military war zone hospital.

"We're here today because we recognise a simple fact. The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives and congress willing to fight for those rights, and we're fighting."

It is not clear which specific story Mr Trump was referring to, but a London surgeon spoke out last month of the problems of both gun and knife crime, saying some of his military colleagues had likened working in the city to their time at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Martin Griffiths, a surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, has spoken about young victims of violence after a spate of deadly crime in the city, which meant the number of suspected murders in March was higher than that of New York.

As of April 6, Scotland Yard had launched 55 investigations into suspected murders in 2018.

At least 35 of those killed were stabbed to death.

Mr Griffiths told BBC Radio Four's Today programme last month: "A quarter of what we see in our practice is knife and gun injury."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has previously clashed with the US president over Mr Khan's response to terrorism, declined to comment on Mr Trump's latest comments.

Mr Trump will make a working visit to the UK on July 13, but details of his trip have not yet been confirmed.

The US ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson, said Mr Trump would "definitely" be coming to London, despite the warnings of likely demonstrations.