Friday, 20 July, 2018

Trump got the message that he's not welcomed: London Mayor

Real estate agent Jonathan Scobie who sells property at an apartment complex near the new embassy says the attention generated by the president's tweet is View Slideshow
Faye Gross | 14 January, 2018, 00:25

Johnson, a Trump appointee, also said the new embassy was entirely paid for by the sale of other London properties and "did not cost the US taxpayer a cent".

Meanwhile, there was some criticism of Mr Trump describing the new location of the U.S. embassy as "off-location"; its current home is in the heart of the West End in Grosvenor Square and is being moved to improve security.

On Friday evening, a United States embassy spokesman hit back at the President's claims and said the plan to finance the project was developed in 2007, at a time when George W. Bush was in the White House.

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 a year ago.

Boris Johnson and Theresa May appeared to clash yesterday over their handling of Donald Trump's decision to cancel his visit to Britain. The Daily Mail reported that Trump had backed out because he was unhappy about arrangements for the visit, which was billed as a "working" visit rather than a full state visit that could include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth.

Asked about the PM's views on south London after the president described the embassy's new site as an "off location", the Number 10 spokesman said: "I think Vauxhall is a vibrant and important part of London and home to many businesses".

In his tweet Mr Trump said: "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".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not reply to a request for comment.

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Relations between the U.S. and its closest ally have been tested repeatedly since Trump took office nearly a year ago.

But hundreds of Brits, including ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband, took to social media to say Trump scrapped the trip because "nobody wanted you to come".

The exchange prompted further calls to dump the visit.

"Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda", Khan said on Friday.

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.

"It seems he has finally got that message".

He noted how Mr Trump would have been met by "mass peaceful protests". But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson blamed Khan and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for discouraging the USA leader from coming. "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed-up, pompous popinjay in City Hall".

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