President Donald Trump has said he has called off state visits to the UK over large scale protests he is likely to face from the British public.
The commander-in-chief is understood to have called Prime Minister Theresa May to tell her that he didn’t want to visit the UK if there were going to be demonstrations against him – meaning his visit could be indefinitely postponed.
But Mrs May’s office denied there had been any changes to the planned visit and refused to comment on the reports around the phone call – even though it is possible she will not be Prime Minister by the time the scheduled visit occurs.
It comes after large scale protests around the visit hit London earlier this year while more than 300,000 people signed a petition urging Parliament to ban Trump from entering the UK.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Trump’s decision to pull out of visiting the UK was ‘welcome’ after Trump mocked the London mayor on Twitter after the recent terrorist attack
The call was made at some point in recent weeks and came as a shock to Mrs May, a source told The Guardian.
The source said they were present in Downing Street when the call came through.
But Mrs May’s office denied there were any changes to the planned state visit in a statement released today.
It said: ‘We aren’t going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations.
‘The Queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the UK and there is no change to those plans.’
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of opposition party Labour, tweeted Sunday that he was happy about the claims.
‘Cancellation of President Trump’s State Visit is welcomeCancellation of President Trump’s State Visit is welcome, especially after his attack on London’s mayor and withdrawal from #ParisClimateDeal,’ he wrote.
Corbyn was referencing Trump’s Twitter attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan shortly after the London Bridge terror attacks, which claimed eight innocent lives.
Trump mocked Khan for telling people ‘not to be alarmed’ in the wake of the attacks – but the London Mayor hit back and said the remarks were taken out of context.
Mr Khan said he was talking about the increased police presence on London streets, not the attacks themselves.
But Trump continued his attack, saying Khan had to ‘think fast’ to come up with his ‘pathetic excuse’ of a response.
The response from the British public was strong, with UK politicians and even Harry Potter author JK Rowling criticising the President on social media.
Downing Street said that it would not comment on the insider’s remarks, but said the Queen’s invitation to Donald Trump remains open
May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump in the White House when she made an appearance in Washington DC just seven days after his inauguration.
She extended a formal invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to Trump during that visit, and told the press she was ‘delighted that the President has accepted that invitation’.
Some of May’s advisors had told her that the offer was premature and should have been ‘put back a bit’ in the wake of his controversial Muslim travel ban, but could not be rescinded once made.
Trump’s relationship with the British public has been highly strained for years – particularly in Scotland, where his golf developments have upset locals.
Last week Theresa May told Trump she was ‘disappointed’ at his decision to take the US out of the Paris climate change agreement, although she did not join other European leaders in signing a joint statement condemning the action.
His presidency and potential state visit sparked mass protests in London in February when he was accused of racism over his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, introduced in late January.
In the same month a petition calling for the President to be ‘barred from the UK’ signed by more than 312,000 was delivered to Parliament, triggering a debate on whether Trump should be allowed to enter the country.
The petition read in part: ‘Donald Trump’s well-documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by the Queen or the Prince of Wales.
‘Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official state visit.’