President Donald Trump canceled a visit to London, saying he was disappointed with the “Obama administration having sold” the US embassy in the British capital.
Trump tweeted late on Thursday, “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 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
Despite President Trump publicly blaming his predecessor Obama, the US announced its plans to move to the new embassy site in October 2008 – when George W Bush was in the White House. The new building will open on January 16.
However, despite the visit being publicly supported by the Prime Minister, Trump is said to have been concerned about the prospect of mass protests against his visit.
A number of British MPs had also pledged to “empty chair” Trump if he addressed the Houses of Parliament during a visit.
They blamed the US President’s views on women, torture and refugees for their plans to boycott the event.
Another factor contributing to the US President deciding to skip the UK visit could be lack of royal involvement. The President was not due to meet the Queen until a full state visit at a later date
Downing Street gave refused to comment on the matter but have insisted that the invitation of a full state visit still exists.
A spokesman said: “An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan says “he finally got the message”
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said that it appears Trump has “finally got that message” that “many Londoners” would not welcome the US President to the capital.
“This reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”