- Donald Trump cancels his planned trip to the UK.
- The president had been expected to open the new US embassy in London.
- Huge protests were planned against the visit.
- Trump blames his unhappiness over “bad deal” done by Obama on the embassy.
- The decision to sell the embassy was taken by the Bush administration before Obama became president.
Donald Trump has cancelled his planned visit to the United Kingdom in February 2018.
The US president had been due to open the new American embassy in London, but pulled out because he was “unhappy about the arrangements and scale of the visit,” according to a report by The Daily Mail.
Trump confirmed that he had cancelled the visit in a tweet sent late on Thursday, but said it was due to his displeasure over the location of the new embassy.
“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!” he wrote.
Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
However, the decision to sell the former American embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square was actually taken in 2008, prior to Obama becoming president and was reportedly driven by security concerns.
Any visit by Trump to the UK seems certain to be met with huge protests, with 55% of Brits in one poll calling for his planned state visit to be cancelled. In late 2017 he embroiled himself in an unprecedented spat with British Prime Minister Theresa May, attacking her over terrorism in the UK after he retweeted videos shared by a far-right anti-Muslim extremist from Britain – sparking universal condemnation from British politicians.
After his election, Theresa May invited Trump to the United Kingdom for an official “state visit,” but he has yet to take her up on the offer.
Plans for a state vist were postponed last year following large street protests in London and across the country. Senior political figures, including opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have all spoken out against the prospect of a formal state visit. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has also refused plans to allow Trump to address Parliament, due to the president’s “sexism and racism”.
Trump reportedly told Theresa May that he was not willing to arrive in the UK, while there was widespread public opposition to his visit.
The February visit would have been a lower-profile “working visit” with less pomp and ceremony, but now secretary of state Rex Tillerson will visit instead, The Daily Mail reports.
It’s not clear when Trump might visit the UK instead.