London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that US President Donald Trump had “got the message” from Londoners after cancelling his visit to the city.
Trump had claimed he had scrapped the visit because he did not want to open the new US embassy in the British capital, but Khan on Friday suggested the real reason was because he would not be welcome, CNN reported.
President Trump got the message from the many Londoners, Khan said. He said his countrymen love and admire America and Americans but find Trump’s policies polar opposite to the city’s values, Khan said in a statement released on Twitter on Friday.
“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. This reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”
The Mayor said Trump’s visit would “without doubt have been met with mass peaceful protests”.
Large demonstrations are expected to accompany any visit to the British capital by Trump, who is deeply unpopular here, said CNN.
A petition to stop Trump from making an official state visit to Britain garnered over 1.8 million signatures in 2017, in a backlash over his controversial travel ban.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson fired back at Khan on Twitter, saying on Friday that he would “not allow US-UK relations to be endangered” by the London Mayor, whom he referred to as a “pompous puffed up popinjay in City Hall”.
A UK official said on Friday that the invitation to Trump for a state visit, first extended by May during her visit to the US early in Trump’s presidency, still stands, the CNN report said.
“The invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted,” the official said.
The official drew a distinction between the state visit, which would include a visit with Queen Elizabeth II and royal trappings like a horse parade.
While a working visit, would include a meeting with May and other diplomatic formalities like opening the embassy.
After Trump declared his disapproval with London’s new US embassy as the reason for cancelling his visit to the city, Madame Tussauds placed a waxwork of the President outside the building, CNN reported.