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Donald Trump cancels visit to open US embassy in London

Donald Trump cancels visit to open US embassy in London

US President Donald Trump has shelved plans to visit London, saying he will not cut the ribbon on a new US embassy in the south of the city as it was a “bad deal” made under former president Barack Obama.

The US President tweeted: “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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO.”

The embassy website, however, shows the decision to move from Grosvenor Square in Mayfair to London‘s Nine Elms quarter was taken months before Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

Trump had been expected to visit the new £750m embassy (pictured below) in Vauxhall as early as February this year.

Prime Minister Theresa May was the first world leader to visit Trump in the White House. At the time the US president accepted an invitation for a state visit.

MPs have repeatedly called for the offer of a state visit for the president to be withdrawn after his crackdown on immigration from majority-Muslim countries and promotion of far-right group Britain First on Twitter. Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband tweeted in response to Trump:

A petition calling for President Trump not to be invited to make an official state visit to the UK, which was launched before last year’s general election, has secured close to 1.9 million signatures.

Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, told Financial News late last year: “I think it’s embarrassing that he has been to Riyadh, Warsaw, Rome and Paris but has not come to London.

“I mean what a coup for Emmanuel Macron [the French president] to get Trump on Bastille Day of all days. They are polar opposites politically but Trump was treated with huge respect in Paris. It was a proper full-on state visit and we are looking a bit silly.”

He added: “People forget but the President is half British and, what is more, he feels it.”

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