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10:21, 26 April 2018 Thursday
13:13, 12 January 2018 Friday

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Trump cancels London trip for embassy opening
Trump cancels London trip for embassy opening

He wrote on Twitter that he was abandoning the trip -- initially scheduled for next month -- because he did not like the location and price tag of the new building.

World Bulletin / News Desk

US President Donald Trump announced Friday he will no longer attend the opening of the new US embassy in London, a move welcomed by critics in Britain who had planned mass protests.

"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," Trump wrote. 

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon - NO!"

There had been speculation that the trip would be merged with a planned state visit to Britain offered to Trump by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has met with strong public and political opposition.

A spokesman for her Downing Street office said Friday said that the state visit plans have not changed, although no date has yet been set.

Opposition to Trump's visit was initially focused on his travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, and most recently his re-tweet of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right organisation, Britain First. 

"Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he's finally got that message," tweeted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

He said there would have been "mass peaceful protests", adding: "This reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place."

Stephen Doughty, an opposition Labour lawmaker, tweeted: "Reason @realDonaldTrump cancelled trip to London is that we are not a big fan of his racist, sexist, unthinking behaviour. 

"Big protests if he came to cut ribbon. He wanted the red carpet treatment and cheering crowds - NO!" 

But leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, who visited Trump following his election, said the decision was "disappointing".

"He's been to countries all over the world and yet he's not been to the one with whom he's closest," he said.

Farage said that plans for protests by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Khan -- who has traded barbs with Trump on Twitter -- may have been a factor.

"Maybe, just maybe, Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn't like the look of," he told BBC radio.



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