Trump UK visit: Anger over cost of US president's four-day visit as activists vow 'all-night noise protest'

MPs say billionaire’s trip causing 'mayhem' for British police

Trump arrives at Blenheim Palace for dinner with Theresa May

As Air Force One made its way from Brussels to London, Theresa May was being met with increasing anger over the cost of a four-day visit to Britain by the United State’s divisive president.

Donald Trump touched down at Stansted Airport on Thursday afternoon, having left a Nato summit earlier that morning in disarray following a series of astonishing verbal attacks against America’s closest allies.

MPs said the billionaire’s trip was causing “mayhem” for British police, with security operations running into the tens of millions of pounds.

Thousands of officers were being moved around the country to guard areas where Mr Trump will make an appearance, as colleagues in their home forces had shifts extended and leave cancelled to cover their absence.

Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow policing minister, accused the government of providing “no guarantee that the additional costs required will be fully met”.

Up to £5m funding for police in Scotland, where Mr Trump will be visiting his own golf course, has already been ring-fenced, but the potential cost for England and Wales has not been calculated.

The policing minister, Nick Hurd, said forces would be able to apply for special grant funding but Labour pointed to statistics showing £12.6m of requests have been refused in the past two years.

Trump arrives at Blenheim Palace for dinner with Theresa May

Mr Hurd admitted the cost of policing Mr Trump’s visit and related protests will “run into millions”, but the Home Office will not know how much until individual chief constables apply to be reimbursed.

In Regent’s Park, a ring of steel fences and concrete bollards were erected around the US ambassador’s residence, where Mr Trump and his wife Melania will stay overnight following an initial meet and greet with Ambassador Woody Johnson.

But protesters vowed to keep the US president awake by banging pots and drums and blowing plastic vuvuzelas in an “all-night noise protest”.

“I’ve just started learning the recorder, beautiful sounding instrument of revenge that it is,” one person who will attend the event said. “Hope he likes Happy Birthday, I can play it like two times out of five but still a bit out of tune?”

On Thursday evening, Mr Trump attended a lavish black tie welcome dinner at Blenheim Palace hosted by Theresa May, who used the occasion to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit.

But that was not before being forced into an uncomfortable wait at the gates for Mr Trump, who was around 15 minutes late, before once again having her hand grasped by the US president as they walked towards the palace.

His arrival was marked by a military ceremony, with bandsmen of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards playing the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace and the National Emblem.

Leaders of the financial services, travel, creative, food, engineering, technology, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and defence sectors were among around 100 guests who dined on Scottish salmon, English Hereford beef fillet, and strawberries with clotted cream ice-cream.

Addressing Mr Trump in front of an audience of business leaders at Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Ms May insisted that Brexit provides an opportunity for an “unprecedented” agreement to boost jobs and growth.

Noting that more than one million Americans already work for British-owned firms, she told Mr Trump: “As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more. It’s an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States.

“It’s also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. And it’s an opportunity to shape the future of the world through cooperation in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence.”

On Friday, Mr Trump will meet Ms May again to watch a special forces demonstration at a secret location in the English countryside, before the pair travel to Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence, for “substantive bilateral talks” on foreign policy issues during a working lunch.

The pair are expected to hold a press conference before Mr Trump meets the Queen for tea at Windsor Castle.

But his presence on Friday is set to be met by tens of thousands of angry protesters in central London, and a giant inflatable “Trump baby” tethered near Parliament Square, depicting the president as an angry orange baby in a nappy.

The president is set to fly to Scotland on Friday evening, where he is expected to spend the weekend playing golf at his Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire. He is expected to depart on Sunday.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in