Donald Trump has state visit to UK downgraded 'and will not be guest of the Queen'

Discussions of scaled-back trip come after threats of mass protests by opponents of the US President

Jon Sharman,Lizzy Buchan
Wednesday 11 October 2017 12:42 BST
Trump's UK state visit downgraded to a 'working visit'

Donald Trump is expected to make a scaled-back trip to the UK early next year, which would see him missing out on meeting the Queen.

The US President had been extended the honour of a full state visit after meeting Theresa May earlier this year, however diplomats are reportedly discussing plans for a “working trip” in 2018 where Mr Trump could be asked to open a new embassy in the UK.

The official invitation – which is traditionally reserved for a president’s second term in office – prompted threats of mass protests and boycotts over Mr Trump’s controversial record.

Sadiq Khan says Trump's state visit should be scrapped

More than 1.8 million people signed a petition against the plans and Commons Speaker John Bercow told MPs that Mr Trump should not be allowed to address Parliament.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also opposed the visit, saying he was “not sure it is appropriate for our Government to roll out the red carpet” for Mr Trump.

The White House had to deny reports over the summer that Mr Trump wanted to delay his visit until he could be sure of a better reception.

In an effort to avoid controversy, Mr Trump’s planned visit will be a more low-key event where he would be a guest of the US ambassador Woody Johnson rather than Buckingham Palace, according to the London Evening Standard.

British and American officials insisted the full visit would still go ahead but refused to comment on claims his first trip to the UK as President would be a more muted affair.

In 90 seconds: What is a state visit?

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “Our position on the state visit has not changed – an offer has been extended and President Trump has accepted.

“Exact dates for President Trump to visit have not yet been arranged.”

A US Embassy spokesperson said: “There are currently no plans for a working-level visit.’’

The Prime Minister extended the invitation shortly after Mr Trump’s inauguration, when she was the first world leader to visit the new President in Washington.

Since then Mr Trump has made trips to a string of global capitals, spending Bastille Day with Emmanuel Macron in France, as well as trips to the Vatican and to Hamburg for G20 talks.

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