Downing Street denies rumour of Donald Trump’s flying visit to UK

A formal state visit invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II had been accepted by Trump during May's visit to Washington in January but plans for him to visit around August/September were reportedly postponed last month.

By: PTI | London | Published:July 3, 2017 8:32 pm
donald trump news, downing street news, world news, indian express news Trump begins his European trip in Warsaw, Poland, where he will address 12 central European, Baltic and western Balkan leaders at Three Seas Conference. (File/Photo)

The British government is not aware of any plans for Donald Trump to visit the UK in the next few weeks, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesperson said on Monday, amid reports that the US President is planning a flying visit to the country. Some UK media reports had suggested that the US President may utilise a gap between his visit to Hamburg in Germany, for the G-20 summit later this week and a planned visit to France for Bastille Day celebrations on July 14 to drop in the UK.

“I am not aware of any plans for the President to visit the UK in the next few weeks,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

A formal state visit invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II had been accepted by Trump during May’s visit to Washington in January but plans for him to visit around August/September were reportedly postponed last month.

The Queen’s Speech, which lays out the parliamentary agenda for the year and also highlights all major state visits to the country, made no mention of a visit by the US President.

There is considerable media speculation that Trump may be planning a sudden stopover to the UK in an attempt to avoid widespread protests expected to greet him in the country.

The UK government has reportedly also been warned that the US President could visit Turnberry, his golf resort in Scotland, after the G-20 summit in Hamburg this Friday and Saturday.

“There is a window of opportunity for the President to visit Britain when he is in Europe later this month. It is likely it will be hastily arranged and it is possible no official confirmation of his visit will be given until at least 24 hours before to stop any large-scale protests against his visit from being mobilised,” ‘The Sunday Times’ had quoted a White House source as saying.

“Stop Trump Coalition” campaigner and ‘Guardian’ columnist Owen Jones said on Twitter on Sunday: “Donald Trump is planning to sneak into Britain to avoid protests. Retweet if you are willing to commit to protesting this bigot at short notice”.

His tweet attracted thousands of retweets and a number of anti-racism groups have also vowed to mobilise at short notice.

There has been a lot of opposition in the UK over Trump being accorded all the pomp and pageantry associated with a state visit.

An online petition against such a visit had attracted over 100,000 signatures earlier this year and debated in the House of Commons as a result.

There have also been spats between Trump and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, most recently in the aftermath of the London terrorist attacks in June.

This week, Trump has attracted fresh protests worldwide after tweeting a mocked-up video of him beating up a man with a CNN logo over his face.

In response, CNN issued a statement accusing the President of “juvenile behaviour” and “encouraging violence”.

Trump begins his European trip in Warsaw, Poland, where he will address 12 central European, Baltic and western Balkan leaders at the Three Seas Conference.

He will also give a major speech at Krasinski Square, the site of the 1944 Warsaw uprising against Nazi occupation, and will lay out his vision of “the future of our transatlantic alliance and what that means for American security and American prosperity”.

In Germany, he is due to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel before attending the G20 summit.

There, he has also arranged bilateral meetings with other world leaders, including May and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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