21 October 2018

Boris and Theresa clash over Trump

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Boris Johnson and Theresa May have clashed over Donald Trump's cancelled UK visit in a row over the real reason he called off the trip. reports citing Daily Mail.

Mr Trump claimed he pulled out of the visit because he disagreed with the decision to sell off the old building for 'peanuts'. But observers suggested he did not want to run the gauntlet of protests.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was among those on the left who commented saying it was clear that Mr Trump had 'got the message that many Londoners' did not want him here.

It led to the Foreign Secretary suggesting that Mr Khan had scuppered the visit, branding him a 'puffed up, pompous popinjay'.

But minutes before, a 10 Downing Street spokesman had insisted that Theresa May did not blame the London Mayor for the cancellation.

Mr Johnson tweeted at about 11am: 'The US is the biggest single investor in the UK — yet Khan & Corbyn 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.'

Then in a sharp contradiction to Mr Johnson's suggestions, a spokesman for Number 10 said the 'special relationship' had not been damaged by the Mayor's tweets.

He told The Times: 'No, the US and the UK are natural, resilient, strong partners and allies, and we do more together than any two countries in the world.'

Mr Khan had earlier said in a statement: '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.

'His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.

'This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.'

The row over the visit, which sparked headlines around the world, threatens a new crisis in Britain's relations with the Trump administration.

There is now no date for a visit by the President, who has been in office for a year.

One senior source suggested Mr Trump cancelled because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit.

But Mr Trump tweeted that he thought the US embassy's move from Grosvenor Square in London's prestigious Mayfair district to Nine Elms, south of the Thames, was a 'bad deal'.

He said: 'Reason I cancelled 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 $1.2billion. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon - NO!'

Despite Mr Trump publicly blaming predecessor Barack Obama, the US announced plans to move to the new site in October 2008 - when his fellow Republican George W Bush was in the White House.

2018.01.13 / 14:39
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