Sadiq Khan: Donald Trump ‘got the message’ that Londoners don’t want him here, says mayor

US President said he would not open the new US embassy in south London, describing the move to an  ‘off-location’ building as a ‘bad deal’

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Friday 12 January 2018 10:21 GMT
Donald Trump calls off UK visit to open new US embassy

President Donald Trump has “got the message” that Londoners oppose his views and policies as he cancelled a planned visit to the capital, Sadiq Khan has said.

The London Mayor, a long-term opponent of Mr Trump, said the visit would have been hampered by “mass peaceful protests” as the Presidents’s controversial views were the “polar opposite” of the city’s values.

Mr Trump said he would not visit the UK to open the new US embassy in south London and described the decision to move the building from Mayfair to Vauxhall as a “bad deal”.

However the prospect of a hostile reception has been cited as a factor behind his decision to cancel the visit, as opponents have threatened mass protests if Mr Trump enters the country.

The President has also been promised a state visit to the UK but the offer has become an increasing headache for Theresa May, drawing opposition from politicians on all sides.

In a statement, Mr Khan 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.

“His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.

“This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.

“Let’s hope that Donald Trump also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda.”

The pair have clashed in the past after the President berated Mr Khan over his response to the terror attacks in London Bridge last year, where he mocked the mayor’s comments that there was “no reason to be alarmed” by the armed police on the streets.

Mr Khan hit back, saying he was too busy to deal with the “ill-informed” comments from the President.

Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage hit out at Mr Khan and Jeremy Corbyn for backing protests that could have deterred him from visiting.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Farage said: “It’s disappointing. He’s been to countries all over the world and yet he’s not been to the one with whom he’s closest. I think it’s disappointing.

“Maybe just maybe Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn’t like the look of.”

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