Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Britain blames threat of protests as Trump cancels London trip

Britain blames threat of protests as Trump cancels London trip

The US embassy in London has responded to US President Donald Trump after he claimed the move to a new location in Battersea was a "bad deal".

A model of US President Donald Trump from the Madame Tussaud's waxwork attraction more than four miles away was placed outside the new embassy building, due to open for business on January 16, after the president's announcement. Rather, experts believe that Trump could be met in London by massive protests denouncing the outspoken US president for what opponents believe as a figure who sows divisiveness.

"London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted Trump had "got the message" that he was not welcome, referring to the backlash over the Queen's invitation". "I think we have this tendency to assume the Donald Trump has strategies".

A Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May would tell Mr Trump he is welcome in London.

The mayor of London - who has been criticized by Trump in tweets - said Trump appeared to have "got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city's values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance".

Khan noted Trump's cancellation "reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place".

Indeed, many in London believe the USA president anticipated a horde of protesters would meet him there, as the billionaire-turned-politician has elicited much negative energy among many liberal groups in London, due to a perception - whether true or not - that he has discriminated against Muslims and Hispanics.

The cancellation is a further blow to relations between the allies.

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Some British lawmakers questioned whether Trump would be welcome in London because of previous tweets and criticism of Muslims and his sniping at London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the aftermath of a terror attack in that city past year.

The main reason cited was security: USA officials said it would have taken several years and hundreds of millions of dollars to bring the old embassy, completed in 1960, up to standard.

Facebook groups organizing for Trump's planned February visit called for one of the largest protests Britain had ever seen.

He even reckoned that Trump might believe his trip would put pressure on British politicians to distance themselves from himself, the president of Britain's closest ally.

The "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the United States "will endure" despite Mr Trump's cancellation, a spokesman added.

On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuted the speculation that the trip Trump canceled was an intended lower profile version of a state visit to Britain.

"We are still working with our United Kingdom allies to find a date for a visit for the invitation that was offered and accepted, " she said Friday.

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