Trump waxwork amuses residents in 'off location' of new United States embassy

Trump waxwork amuses residents in 'off location' of new United States embassy

In response to the cancellation, London Mayor Sadiq Khan celebrated the news, saying the US president "is not welcome here".

U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a trip to London scheduled for next month to open a new embassy, saying he did not want to endorse a bad deal agreed by the Obama administration to sell the old one for "peanuts".

Mr Trump also criticised the location of the new building in Vauxhall, south London, as an "off location", adding: "Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

The State Department, however, announced plans for relocating the London embassy in 2008, while George W. Bush was still president, because of concerns about security following the September 11 terror attacks. At the time, U.S. Ambassador Robert Tuttle said the decision to move to the five-acre site on the south side of the River Thames came after a "long and careful process". The move, which ended a 200-year USA association with London's Grosvenor Square, was part of American efforts to secure diplomatic staff in compounds - a push tied to terror concerns after al-Qaida bombings at two US embassies in East Africa a decade ago.

"The US is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure", he said.

Donald Trump has cancelled a planned visit to the United Kingdom in February, where he had been expected to open a new $1bn (£738m) USA embassy in London.

A spokesman for May's Downing Street office said the invitation for the state visit "has been extended and accepted".

Many British politicians have voiced their opposition to Trump being granted a state visit, and say the invite should be recalled.

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Mr Trump had been expected to travel to the British capital next month to open the embassy, which will move from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms.

On Friday night, a spokesman for the US embassy said: "The US chancery in Grosvenor Square had aged beyond its ability to be improved to current security and life safety standards without extensive investment in infrastructure that would require appropriated dollars".

In addition, Ms May and Mr Trump fell out spectacularly in November over his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted online by the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group, Jayda Fransen.

Trump's cancellation was met with humour on social media, with parodies of the president's tweet trending on Twitter.

The exchange prompted further calls to dump the visit.

Labour lawmaker David Lammy, who had vowed to lead a protest against Trump if he visited, said the USA president was "too scared of us Londoners, who don't want him darkening our door".

Trump's critics believed he had pulled out of the trip over fears of mass protests over his impending state visit to the country, which is set to go ahead though no date has been confirmed by Downing Street.

The British government said the opening of the embassy was a matter for the United States. "But maybe Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn't like the look of".

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