No trip to London since embassy site is a 'bad deal'

No trip to London since embassy site is a 'bad deal'

Boris Johnson and Theresa May appeared to clash yesterday over their handling of Donald Trump's decision to cancel his visit to Britain.

It does not mean plans for the US President's state visit to the United Kingdom are off entirely, with a Downing Street spokesman telling the newspaper: "An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted". Mr Johnson suggested that Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, had scuppered the chance of a visit from the USA president in an effort to draw a partisan line on the issue.

The current ambassador, Robert "Woody" Johnson, said the change was necessary even though the US had been linked to Grosvenor Square for more than 200 years.

The US President had been expected to visit the new £750m ($1bn) home for American diplomats on the banks of the River Thames as early as next month.

He was scheduled to visit the British capital next month to open the new facility.

In his tweet Mr Trump said: "Reason I cancelled 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!"

"Security concerns after September 11 meant we had to move to a location that could better protect American citizens and our British neighbors", he wrote in an article for London's Evening Standard newspaper.

No trip to London since embassy site is a 'bad deal'
No trip to London since embassy site is a 'bad deal'

Still, British officials said their government had been working on the basis that Trump would arrive in late February, though no firm date had been set.

In January past year, Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump in the White House.

SOT: JEREMY SHAPIRO, RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (ENGLISH): Jeremy Shapiro of the European Council on Foreign Relations cautioned against trying to make sense of Trump's decision to postpone his trip.

Matters got even worse when Trump re-tweeted video posts of a British ultra-rightist group targeting Muslim immigrants in November.

The mayor, a member of the main opposition Labour party, said there would have been "mass peaceful protests", and that it had been a "mistake" to invite him.

"Let's hope that Donald Trump also resists the pursuit of his divisive agenda".

On the embassy web page about the project, it said: "The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds". We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up...


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