Trump visit 'would have provoked protests'

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

President Donald Trump may have shunned London by canceling his upcoming visit to open the United States embassy - but anyone passing by the £1 billion building today will have seen The Donald outside.

The trip's cancellation is a further blow to relations between the close allies.

However, it is widely believed that Trump would be facing a fair amount of dissent from protesters, and one ally of the president, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, said that may have played into his decision to remain stateside as well.

But the embassy's plan to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms in London was first reported in October 2008 - when George W Bush was still president and Obama had not yet been elected.

However, Trump blamed former president Barack Obama for the sale, saying he would not attend the official opening of the new site.

A twitter war erupted after Trump tweeted: "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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO", Trump wrote.

He said the new embassy was a "signal to the world that this special relationship that we have is stronger and is going to grow and get better".

A Trump visit has been on the cards since British Prime Minister Theresa May visited the United States a few days after Trump's inauguration previous year. "She has seen them come and she has seen them go".

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.

He said the opening of the embassy was a matter for the US government.

Labour MP Chukka Umuma, a campaigner with the pressure group Open Britain, said Trump's "dummy spit" showed the USA would be an unreliable partner for as long as Trump was president.

Prime Minister Theresa May has stayed silent over Trump's decision.

However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - who has clashed with the president in the past - said the United States president had "got the message" that many Londoners were staunchly opposed to his policies and actions.

"It seems he's finally got the message". Anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s drew thousand of Britons, including celebrities of the day like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. In 2009, it was given "listed" status which limits changes that can be made to the building's exterior because of its historical significance.

President Donald Trump said he has called off a planned ceremonial visit to Britain because he didn't want to be associated with what he called a bad real estate deal in which the U.S. Embassy is being relocated from central London to "an off location".

"This isn't just a new office, though, it signifies a new era of friendship between out two countries". In December, Ambassador Woody Johnson said he was looking forward to welcoming the president.

The State Department, however, announced plans for relocating the London embassy in 2008, while George W. Bush was still president, because of concerns about security following the September 11 terror attacks. Some local residents opposed measures that they felt would detract from one of London's plushest neighbourhoods while others feared not enough was being done to ensure they would not be caught up in any attack.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article