Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Question Time inside the House of Commons in London, Wednesday July 10, 2019.   Britain's ambassador to the United States, veteran diplomat Kim Darroch resigned Wednesday, prompting Prime Minister Theresa May and other British politicians to praise Darroch. (Jessica Taylor/House of Commons via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May and the two men competing to succeed her condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's berating of four female lawmakers of color but stopped short Monday of calling his remarks racist.

Trump tweeted Sunday that the liberal Democrats should go back to the "broken and crime infested" countries they came from. All four are American citizens and three were born in the United States.

May, who is set to step down next week following her resignation over Brexit, thinks "the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable," spokesman James Slack said.

Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the two politicians in the runoff to replace May as Conservative Party leader and U.K. prime minister, agreed.

Johnson said Trump's remarks were "totally unacceptable in a modern multiracial country."

"If you are the leader of a great multiracial, multicultural society, you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from," he said during a debate with Hunt.

His political rival echoed the sentiment.

"I have three half-Chinese children," said Hunt, whose wife is Chinese. "And if anyone ever said to them, 'Go back to China,' I would be utterly appalled."

But Hunt — who as foreign secretary is Britain's top diplomat — balked when asked whether he would call Trump's comments racist, instead noting that the United States is Britain's closest ally.

"It is not going to help the situation to use that kind of language about the president of the United States," he said

Johnson declined to answer when he also was asked if Trump's words were racist.

The comments come at a testy time for U.K.-U.S. relations. The trans-Atlantic relationship has been rattled in the last two weeks by the Mail on Sunday newspaper's publication of leaked diplomatic cables from Britain's ambassador in Washington criticizing the Trump administration.

Trump responded by calling Ambassador Kim Darroch "very stupid" on Twitter and cold-shouldering him. Darroch resigned, saying he could no longer do his job.

Trump defended his tweets about the congresswomen, taking to Twitter again Monday to demand apologies from the four Democrats and claiming "so many people are angry at them and & their horrible & disgusting actions."

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May with Jos Buttler and members of the England cricket team during a reception to celebrate their victory in the Cricket World Cup, at 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, July 15, 2019. (Yui Mok/Pool photo via AP)
Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt talks to journalists as he arrives for a European Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, July 15, 2019. European Union nations were looking to deescalate tensions in the Persian Gulf area on Monday and call on Iran to stick to the 2015 nuclear deal, despite the pullout of the United States from the accord and the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to King & Co tree nursery, in Braintree, Essex, ahead of a Tory leadership hustings, England, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (Neil Hall/Pool photo via AP)