Boris Johnson refuses to consider cancelling Donald Trump's UK state visit, saying Queen will take it 'in her stride'

'She has seen them come and she has seen them go', Foreign Secretary tells MPs

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Tuesday 09 January 2018 13:48
Boris Johnson refuses to push to cancel Donald Trump’s planned State Visit to Britain

Boris Johnson has refused to push to cancel Donald Trump’s planned State Visit to Britain – insisting the Queen will take it “in her stride”.

Labour urged the Foreign Secretary to pull the plug after the author of an explosive new book about the US President warned he would use the trip to “Trumpalise the Queen”.

But Mr Johnson replied: “I think Her Majesty the Queen is well capable to of taking this American president – or indeed any American president – in her stride, as she has done over six remarkable decades.

“She has seen them come and she has seen them go.”

At the weekend, Theresa May confirmed that Mr Trump would come to the UK, but without revealing when, or for what purpose, the visit would take place.

The State Visit is thought to have been shelved indefinitely, because of the fear of huge public protests and out of a desire to avoid embarrassing the Royal Family.

However, the President is expected to undertake a “working visit” as early as next month, to attend the opening of the lavish new US embassy on the banks of the Thames in London.

He is also believed to hanker after an invitation to the May wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – to Downing Street’s huge discomfort.

During Foreign Office questions in the Commons, Labour pointed out that the author of the new acclaimed Trump book, by US journalist Michael Wolff, had claimed the visit would damage the monarchy.

Liz McInnes, the party’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, said she did not know what “Trumpalise the Queen” meant, but urged Mr Johnson: “Please save Her Majesty from that unpleasant sounding ordeal and cancel this wretched visit.”

But the Foreign Secretary claimed her boss, the Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, had said “we have to welcome the American President to Britain we have to work with him”.

Ms Thornberry later disputed she had said that, insisting she had simply acknowledged it might be too late to cancel the State Visit.

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