Trump cancels visit to Britain amid fears of mass protests

12 January, 2018, 15:07 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • PA Wire  PA Images

The decision to build a new embassy was made during George W. Bush's presidency.

In a tweet, Donald Trump said that he was not happy that the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama sold the previous USA embassy in London to build a new one, which he called a "bad deal".

President Donald Trump has canceled a trip to London where he had been expected to open the new $1 billion USA embassy, avoiding protests promised by political opponents. "Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" he tweeted.

United States ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson last month told the BBC he "absolutely" expected Mr Trump to visit Britain in the new year.

Mass protests would have likely greeted Trump, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn telling followers they should send the U.S. president a "clear message" by demonstrating again him.

The billion-dollar price tag is typical of an embassy construction of that size, and officials said it was financed entirely by the sale of other USA property in England - not new taxpayer money.

It followed claims by Michael Wolff, the author of the tell-all book Fire and Fury about Mr Trump's administration, that the US President would use a visit to "Trumpalise the Queen and Buckingham Palace".

But clearly, the State Department struck this "bad deal" so Trump would find out about it years later and be forced to cancel his London visit.

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And London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has previously clashed with Trump, offered an alternative reason for why the trip may have been cancelled.

Last month, the White House said it would announce details "soon" of Mr Trump's proposed visit to the UK.

The US embassy is moving from Grosvernor Square in Westminster to the Nine Elms area of Wandsworth.

"His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests", Khan continued, adding he hopes that Trump "also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda".

He was due to visit London in February for the opening of the new building.

The problem with that rationale is that Trump's tweet misrepresented the history of the U.S. Embassy move.

But the relationship between Trump and May has been far from rosy.

This week, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson brushed off suggestions that a state visit to Britain by Mr Trump should be scrapped.

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