Donald Trump cancels February visit to UK

Passenger trains pass through Battersea Park rail station as construction work continues on the Battersea Power Station residential and retail development complex in London in December

Passenger trains pass through Battersea Park rail station as construction work continues on the Battersea Power Station residential and retail development complex in London in December

"It appears that President Trump 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 said in a statement.

The American president says he is cancelling a scheduled visit to the British capital over the cost of the new embassy.

On the face of it, Trump called off his "working" visit to the United Kingdom because of his displeasure at the Obama administration's decision to sell off the previous, "finest", embassy in Grosvenor Square to the Qataris for "peanuts" (never mind the fact that this decision was made in the final months of George W Bush's time in office, not Barack Obama's).

"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".

Mr Trump also criticised the location of the new building in Vauxhall, south London, as an "off location", adding: "Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

Many British politicians have voiced their opposition to Trump being granted a state visit, and say the invite should be recalled.

In an article in London's Evening Standard newspaper on Friday, U.S. ambassador Woody Johnson said Washington was "re-investing in the special relationship".

Asked if it was a discourtesy to the Queen for Mr Trump to keep putting off the state visit, he replied: "An invitation has been extended and accepted and we will set out details in due course".

The embassy move from central London to a regenerated area on the south bank of the River Thames is in fact the result of a decade-long project initiated by the administration of former Republican president George W. Bush.

But a full-blown state visit replete with golden carriages and pomp has been deferred amid the threat of huge anti-Trump protests.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump's comment was exclusively about an embassy-related visit.

Downing Street declined to comment on the particular case but reports suggested No 10 was aware the "working visit" had been postponed. 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.

The uproar came after Trump re-tweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of the far-right group Britain First - a tiny group that regularly posts inflammatory videos.

He warned that criticism of the White House risked harming US-UK relations.

"It seems he's finally got the message".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.