Two of the city’s MPs have publicly reacted to the news Donald Trump has been elected president of the USA, describing it as “devastating” and a “hurricane”.
Mr Trump defied polls and predictions to be elected as the 45th US president in the early hours of this morning, UK time.
Many aspects of his campaigning, in particular his anti-immigration statements and apparent misogyny, have come in for particular criticism from his opponents.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “This is a devastating day for women, for people of colour, for disabled people and for an inclusive society in the USA.
“Trump’s election is also a hammer blow for the fight against climate change – and presents a genuine threat to some of the poorest people in the world who will suffer its effects worse.
“But this is no time to mourn – instead we must organize like never before to keep our communities cohesive and our climate safe. On this dark day we extend the hand of friendship to people in the USA who wake up in fear – we know that you are not defined by the hatred espoused by your new president.
“But it’s at times like this when we need to unite, learn, resist and hope more than ever before. Today, in whatever ways we can, let’s light a candle rather than curse the darkness.”
Hove MP Peter Kyle said on Facebook: “Am I shocked? Yes. Am I surprised? Sadly, no I’m not.
“Something just seems wrong in the world these days and in 2016 we have seen political upheaval of hurricane proportions. There will be reams of analysis in the coming days and countless people will be claiming that the Trump victory proves their warnings and policies and world-view was the right one.
“The only thing I can say with certainty this morning is that right across the West a great number of people don’t just want to kick the ‘establishment’, they want to destroy it.
“It is true that our ruling classes have failed to deliver for a growing number of people. In both Britain and America wage inequality has been compounded by a growing percentage of middle-class incomes coming from property ownership. So if you have assets, or are born into a family with assets, you will succeed in life. However if you are talent rich but asset poor you will by all likelihood fail to exploit your potential. Not just economically, but in education, in health, and in relationships too. This is a corruption of British values and has sewn the seeds of resentment for which we are paying a heavy price.
“In our own city of Brighton and Hove there is a ten year life expectancy gap between areas of affluence and deprivation. These are the feeding grounds of Brexit and Trump and if we are not careful it will not end there.”
He added: “It is difficult to imagine a figure that reflects our community here in Brighton and Hove less than Donald Trump. America is our greatest ally and our countries will need to find ways to continue our relationship so it is bequeathed to future generations intact.
“But the lessons of Tony Blair’s uncritical relationship with George W Bush must also be a lesson for us too. Our populations must remain close, but should government policies emerge that offend our own British values then we must not sit on our hands for fear of a slap on the wrist.
“If we are to smash the establishment we must do it with talent from every corner of society, not a fist that will leave nothing but chaos in its wake.
“I’ve never been prouder to live in Hove. It feels like a sanctuary today.”
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