Trump says cancels London trip, experts suggest fear of mass protests

  • Trump says cancels London trip, experts suggest fear of mass protests

Trump says cancels London trip, experts suggest fear of mass protests

As a resident of Nine Elms in south London, just around the corner from the new American embassy, for strictly selfish reasons I welcomed the news that Donald Trump would not be coming to open it after all.

In his tweet, the president maintained the decision was down to his disapproval of the USA embassy moving from its old central London location to a new site south of the river.

The State Department, however, announced plans for relocating the London embassy in 2008, while George W. Bush was still president, because of concerns about security following the September 11 terror attacks.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Spokesperson Max Blain said Vauxhall is a vibrant part of London and "home to many businesses", and not an "off location" as Trump had described.

President Donald Trump was expected to visit London in February - and now that his trip has been put on hold, many are at odds as to why.

Trump's critics believed he had pulled out of the trip over fears of mass protests over his impending state visit to the country, which is set to go ahead though no date has been confirmed by Downing Street.

"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 United States dollars (S$1.5 billion)", he wrote.

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

Trump's cancellation was met with humour on social media, with parodies of the president's tweet trending on Twitter.

The exchange prompted further calls to dump the visit.

"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.

He took to Twitter to say his first trip to Britain since being elected past year was off amid claims he feared mass street protests and blamed his predecessor Barack Obama for selling off the former embassy in Grosvenor Square "for peanuts".

In 2009, when Barack Obama was president, the United States agreed to sell its embassy in Mayfair to the Gulf investor Qatari Diar for an undisclosed sum to help fund a new embassy.

His comments sparked criticism from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who accused the Mayor of London of endangering the so-called "special relationship".

Some British lawmakers questioned whether Trump would be welcome in London because of previous tweets and criticism of Muslims and his sniping at London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the aftermath of a terror attack in that city past year. We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up...