London Mayor slams Trump's 'divisive agenda' after visit cancellation
NIKLAS HALLE'N (AFP)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan lashes out at President Donald Trump in a statement on Twitter after the commander-in-chief announced he would cancel a slated visit to the United Kingdom.
"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, Khan said in a statement on his Twitter account.
"His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests," the London Mayor added. "This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of state in the first place."
"Let's hope that Donald Trump also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda," Khan added.
Trump announced Friday he will no longer attend the opening of the new US embassy in London, a move welcomed by critics in Britain who had planned mass protests.
He wrote on Twitter that he was abandoning the trip -- initially scheduled for next month -- because he did not like the location and price tag of the new building.
"Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for "peanuts," only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars," Trump wrote.
"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"
Trump has also been offered a state visit to Britain, and Prime Minister Theresa May's office said Friday that nothing has changed, although no date has been set.
There had been strong opposition to the invitation, at first over Trump's travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, and then most recently his re-tweet of a far-right organisation, Britain First.
"This is somebody who has promoted hatred and propaganda from a far-right organisation in this country," said opposition Labour lawmaker Chuka Umunna, saying Trump's decision not to come was "very welcome."
Stephen Doughty, another Labour MP, tweeted: "Reason @realDonaldTrump cancelled trip to London is that we are not a big fan of his racist, sexist, unthinking behaviour.
"Big protests if he came to cut ribbon. He wanted the red carpet treatment and cheering crowds - NO!"
But leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, who visited Trump following his election, said the decision was "disappointing".
He said that plans for protests by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan -- who has traded barbs with Trump on Twitter -- may have been a factor.
"Maybe, just maybe, Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn't like the look of," he said.
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