John le Carré has warned of the “toxic” influence of Donald Trump, likening his presidency to the rise of fascism in the 1930s.  

Addressing an audience at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the acclaimed author said “something truly, seriously bad is happening”.  

“These stages that Trump is going through in the United States and the stirring of racial hatred … a kind of burning of the books as he attacks, as he declares real news as fake news, the law becomes fake news, everything becomes fake news.

“I think of all things that were happening across Europe in the 1930s, in Spain, in Japan, obviously in Germany. To me, these are absolutely comparable signs of the rise of fascism and it’s contagious, it’s infectious. Fascism is up and running in Poland and Hungary. There’s an encouragement about.”