April 25, 2018

U.S. embassy in London corrects Trump over 'bad deal'

14 January 2018, 08:34 | Rufus Hill

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A model of President Trump from the Madame Tussauds waxwork museum was brought Friday to the new U.S. Embassy in London's Wandsworth borough.

"London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted Trump had "got the message" that he was not welcome, referring to the backlash over the Queen's invitation".

The embassy's new cube-shaped building is designed by American architect KieranTimberlake and will be open for business on Tuesday. He said it was due to concerns about the embassy's move from the elite Mayfair district to a less fashionable area of London.

When the deal was made in 2008, the US Government said their "goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility".

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.

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

There has been speculation that his visit would result in mass protests, so people have been responding online with their own very serious reasons for not visiting London. In December, Johnson said he was looking forward to welcoming the president.

Embassy officials will have to put away the giant novelty scissors and ribbon though, because whatever the reason, he says he's not coming. She suggested a formal visit could still, but offered no details.

There is likely some relief in the British government at Trump's decision, which would have caused at the very least a major policing operation.

But the relationship between Trump and May has been far from rosy.

Mr Trump's decision not to visit was welcomed by critics outraged by the USA travel ban on some Muslim-majority countries, and more recently, his decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right organisation.

There was an outburst on social media after the visit was announced past year, when protesters vowed to turn out in great numbers to let the US President know that he was not welcome in the UK.

"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 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.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said opponents such as Khan were putting the relationship with the United States, the biggest investor in Britain, at risk. "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".

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