Trump Cancels Trip to London, Cites Embassy's Move

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

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

President Trump criticised the Obama Administration for the sale of the original embassy, despite the fact that the move was planned in 2008, whilst George W Bush was still President.

Khan's predecessor as mayor, current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, criticized both him and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn for discouraging the USA leader from coming to London.

Khan, the mayor of London and frequent foe of Trump, tweeted that Trump had "finally got the message" that he wasn't welcome in the British capital.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom government also declared their condemnation for Trump's hugely provocative decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - a matter which is reported to have angered the US President and strained the UK's "Special Relationship" with the US yet further.

Later, a Number 10 source confirmed that Mr Johnson had been speaking for the Government, telling The Independent: "Boris expresses himself in his own inimitable way - but we agree that any risk to the crucial US-UK relationship is not in our country's best interest".

May's spokesman told reporters Trump was welcome in London and that the invitation to visit had been accepted, although no date agreed.

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.

This was followed by another from Sadiq Khan, London's Labour mayor, who has sparred with Trump in the past.

"But the USA is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure".

"The opening of the United States embassy is a matter for the US".

The U.S. embassy has been based on the square since 1938 and the area was known as "Little America" during World War Two as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's military headquarters were housed on the square.

The paper notes that the problem with the president's "explanation is that Trump's tweet misrepresented the history of the U.S. Embassy move". The purchase price was not disclosed.

"Security concerns after September 11 meant we had to move to a location that could better protect American citizens and our British neighbors", he wrote in an article for London's Evening Standard newspaper. In 2009, it was given "listed" status which limits changes that can be made to the building's exterior because of its historical significance. In December, Johnson said he was looking forward to welcoming the president.

"I think Her Majesty the Queen is well capable of taking this American president - or indeed any American president - in her stride, as she has done over six remarkable decades", Johnson said.

In the meantime, the relationship between May and Trump has come under strain. "Vauxhall is a vibrant and important part of London and home to many businesses", the office said, referring to the location of the new embassy.

The U.S. presence on Grosvenor Square goes back to the late 18th century, when future president John Adams was the first U.S. envoy to England.

The new embassy is a veritable fortress set back at least 30 metres from surrounding buildings - mostly newly erected high-rise residential blocks - and incorporating living quarters for USA marines permanently stationed inside.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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