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Newstalk

08.03 12 Jan 2018


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Updated 11.36am

Donald Trump has said he has cancelled his trip to London to open the new US embassy because he considers the building's relocation a "bad deal".

Mr Trump had been expected to visit the new home for American diplomats on the banks of the River Thames as early as next month.

However, this morning the US President tweeted: 

It has been reported that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will now undertake ceremonial duties at the official opening of the distinctive cube building.

It does not mean plans for the US President's state visit to the UK are off entirely, with a Downing Street spokesman reportedly telling the Daily Mail: "An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted."

MPs have repeatedly called for the offer of a state visit for the US President to be withdrawn following his crackdown on immigration from majority-Muslim countries and promotion of far-right group Britain First on Twitter.

The controversy sparked a diplomatic spat between Theresa May and Mr Trump, after Mrs May condemned the US President's actions.

Any possible first trip to the UK by Mr Trump since being elected to the White House is likely to be met with fierce protests.

Responding to the cancellation, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda":

However, that provoked a sharp response from the UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who accused Mr Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of putting the UK's 'crucial relationship' with the US at risk.

Earlier this week, Mr Johnson brushed off suggestions a state visit to Britain by Mr Trump should be scrapped.

It followed claims by Michael Wolff, the author of the tell-all book Fire and Fury about Mr Trump's administration, that the US President would use a visit to "Trumpalise the Queen and Buckingham Palace".

Mr Johnson told MPs: "I think [the Queen] is well capable to of taking this American president - or indeed any American president - in her stride, as she has done over six remarkable decades.

"She has seen them come and she has seen them go."

In January last year, Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump in the White House.


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