Sale of the 'finest' American embassy: was it a rotten deal?

Angelo Anderson
January 13, 2018

A spokesman for her Downing Street office said Friday said that the state visit plans have not changed, although no date has yet been set.Opposition to Trump's visit was initially focused on his travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, and most recently his re-tweet of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right organization, Britain First.

Mr Trump claimed he had cancelled his trip the trip because he was unhappy that the embassy had been moved from Mayfair to Nine Elms in south west London. "Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told parliament on Tuesday that he expected Queen Elizabeth II to meet Trump during his visit, saying she was "well capable of taking this or any American president in her stride".

Many politicians in the United Kingdom said the real reason for the cancellation was to avoid the growing number of anti-Trump protests planned for the president's visit.

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

Simon Dawson  Reuters
Simon Dawson Reuters

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.

"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 purchase price was not disclosed. The sale was made because the British government wanted to list the building as one of historical importance, which would have made renovations and a potential sale more hard to do.

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

In response to the cancellation, London Mayor Sadiq Khan celebrated the news, saying the USA president "is not welcome here".

The $1 billion construction was funded by the sale of other properties in London.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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