US President Donald Trump has confirmed he will not visit to the UK to open the new US embassy next month, blaming the Obama administration’s decision to move it to an “off location” in a “bad deal”.
Trump has yet to visit London, with many British voters promising mass protests against a U.S. leader they see as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on a range of issues.
“(The) 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,” the President said in a tweet late on Thursday.
“Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!” Trump said.
The decision to acquire a new London embassy site on the south bank of the Thames was announced in 2008 under George W. Bush along with the plans to put the Grosvenor Square site in Mayfair up for sale.
London Mayor Khan said: “His policies and actions [are] 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.”
Boris Johnson has branded Sadiq Khan a “puffed up pompous popinjay” after he welcomed Donald Trump cancelling a trip to the UK capital.
Senior British officials have been dismayed by some of Trump’s pronouncements, particularly a proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States and most recently when Trump rebuked Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter after she criticized him for retweeting British far-right anti-Islam videos.
The American flag was this month removed from the U.S. embassy in Grosvenor Square – an area known as “Little America” during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted Trump had cancelled because “nobody wanted you to come and you got the message”.
Labour MP Stephen Doughty said Trump cancelled his trip because “we are not a big fan of his racist, sexist, unthinking behaviour”.