British Prime Minister David Cameron has toned down his comments on Donald Trump, saying the Republican presidential hopeful deserves respect — but was wrong to call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

After Trump proposed the temporary ban on Muslims last year in the wake of attacks by extremists, Cameron called the comments "divisive, stupid and wrong."

Asked at a news conference Thursday if he wanted to apologize for calling Trump's remarks stupid, Cameron said that anyone who came through the "grueling" race to select their party's nominee "certainly deserves our respect."

But on Trump's suggestion about banning Muslims, Cameron said "I'm very clear that the policy idea that was put forward was wrong, is wrong and will remain wrong."