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London Mayor Sadiq Khan says Trump 'got the message' over UK visit

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday that US President Donald Trump had "got the message" from Londoners after canceli...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 11:38 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 11:38 AM

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday that US President Donald Trump had "got the message" from Londoners after canceling his visit to the city.

Trump claimed he had scrapped the visit because he didn't want to open the new US embassy in the British capital, but Khan suggested the real reason was because he wouldn't be welcome.

"President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and action the polar opposite of our city's values," Khan said in a statement released on Twitter.

Khan said Trump's visit would "without doubt have been met with mass peaceful protests" and that it was a mistake for Prime Minister Theresa May to invite him on a state visit.

Large demonstrations are expected to accompany any visit to the British capital by Trump, who is deeply unpopular here. A petition to stop Trump from making an official state visit to Britain garnered over 1.8 million signatures last year, in a backlash over his controversial travel ban.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson fired back on Twitter, saying Friday that he would "not allow US-UK relations to be endangered" by Khan, whom he referred to as a "pompous puffed up popinjay in City Hall."

A UK official said on Friday that the invitation to Trump for a state visit, first extended by May during her visit to the US early in Trump's presidency, still stands: "The invitation for a State Visit has been extended and accepted," the official said.

The official drew a distinction between the state visit, which would include a visit with Queen Elizabeth II and royal trappings like a horse parade, and a working visit, that would include a meeting with May and other diplomatic formalities like opening the embassy.

After Trump declared his disapproval with London's new US embassy as the reason for canceling his visit to the city, Madame Tussauds placed a waxwork of the President outside the building.

Trump's feud with Sadiq

It's not the first time the London mayor has publicly sparred with Trump. The pair have spent more than a year sniping at one another.

Khan, London's first elected Muslim mayor, has previously criticized the US President for his proposed travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Trump has also hit out at Khan for his handling of terror attacks carried out in London, seizing on them in his call for the travel ban.

Khan has pushed back, saying he doesn't need advice from the US President.

Related Article: How Trump's relationship with the London mayor grew so heated

In November last year, Khan slammed Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a British far-right party, and suggested May shouldn't welcome Trump into their country for a state visit.

Khan called Britain First, the far-right party Trump retweeted, "a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

He added that the videos make it "increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed."

Khan reiterated this sentiment on Friday, saying he hoped that Trump "revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda."

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