US President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to open the new American embassy in London.
Using his favourite medium, Trump tweeted that not being “a big fan of the Obama administration“, he had decided not to cut the ribbon. He criticised the previous president for a “bad deal” in selling the site of the old Grovesnor Square embassy for “peanuts” for a new one in an “off location”.
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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The embassy, expected to open on the 16th of January, was preparing for a presidential visit for as early as next month. It is now believed US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, will officially open the building.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who had a very public spat with the president in early 2017, said the cancellation showed Trump had “got the message” and that his “divisive agenda” was “the polar opposite of our city’s values.”
Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he’s finally got that message. pic.twitter.com/YD0ZHuWtr3
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 12, 2018
Plans for a presidential visit to London have been in the running for nearly a year. Weeks after his inauguration, British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump for a state visit but this was shelved following the large backlash in the UK.
Despite Trump’s criticisms of Obama, the decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms was undertaken in October 2008, a month before Obama’s election.
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