Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Trump cancels London trip for embassy opening

Trump cancels London trip for embassy opening

However, Mr Trump blamed former president Mr Obama's administration for selling "perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for peanuts".

But Trump said his decision, announced in a late-night tweet, was due to the president's concerns about the embassy's move from the tony Mayfair district to a far less fashionable area of London.

The relocation and redevelopment plan was executed starting under former President George W. Bush in 2008 and was made for security reasons, officials said at the time.

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" the US president added.

The cancellation of the visit was "excellent news", said Lindsey German, organizer of the Stop the War Coalition, which had planned a large protest against Trump.

Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump for a state visit when she met with him at the White House soon after he took office previous year.

There had been speculation that the trip would be merged with a planned state visit to Britain offered to Trump by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has met with strong public and political opposition.

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

Some British lawmakers questioned whether Trump would be welcome after he re-tweeted videos from a far-right British group and criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan following a terror attack previous year.


London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with whom Trump has butted heads frequently, responded positively to the news that the president would not be visiting.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested the decision was prompted by the opposition to Trump in Britain, and warned such critics "seem determined to put this crucial relationship at risk".

"We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".

Woody Johnson, Trump's appointed United States ambassador to Britain, told reporters last month that moving to the new site at Nine Elms reflected "the global outlook of the U.S. going forward in the 21st century: rather looking out, than looking in".

The American flag was this month removed from Grosvenor Square where the U.S. embassy has been based since 1938 with the area known as "Little America" during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"This isn't just a new office, though, it signifies a new era of friendship between out two countries".

There had always been security concerns about the Grosvenor Square site, dating back to the late 1990s after attacks on USA embassies in Africa.

May's spokesman said the president was wrong to retweet the group's content - prompting Trump to tell May in a tweet that she should focus on "the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom" instead of him.

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