Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Donald Trump 'took offence at slights from the British'

Donald Trump 'took offence at slights from the British'

Mr Trump has refused to travel to the United Kingdom to open the new American embassy, hitting out at its move from Grosvenor Square in the prestigious Mayfair district of central London to an "off location" at Nine Elms, south of the Thames.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump's comment was exclusively about an embassy-related visit.

"The US is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure", the spokesman said.

"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.

Mr Khan had said the U.S. president had "got the message" from Londoners and would have been met by "mass peaceful protests" if he went ahead with plans to open the new embassy.

Mr Trump also criticised the location of the new building in Vauxhall, south London, as an "off location", adding: "Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

The decision to move the embassy from its historic location in London's Grosvenor Square was made under President George W. Bush and announced in October 2008.

Trump's visit to Britain is expected to be accompanied by a large demonstration anytime.

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In response to the cancellation, London Mayor Sadiq Khan celebrated the news, saying the US president "is not welcome here".

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.

A spokesman for May's Downing Street office said the invitation for the state visit "has been extended and accepted. But maybe Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn't like the look of". "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".

In an article in London's Evening Standard newspaper yesterdayy, U.S. ambassador Woody Johnson said Washington was "re-investing in the special relationship".

The American flag was this month removed from Grosvenor Square where the USA embassy has been based since 1938 with the area known as "Little America" during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The new building will open for business on January 16.

"He has been to countries all over the world and yet he has not been to the one with whom he is closest", former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, a Trump ally, told the BBC.

In Trump's absence, the Madame Tussauds museum installed the president's waxwork outside the new embassy, causing construction workers to crowd round and pose for selfies.

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