Donald Trump UK visit NOT on hold, say White House and Downing Street

Ross McGuinness

Donal Trump’s controversial state visit to the UK has not been put on hold, the White House and Downing Street have said.

The White House denied reports the US president told British prime minister Theresa May he does not want to ahead with the trip if it will lead to anti-Trump demonstrations.

The Guardian reported that the US president said he wanted to be sure he had the support of the British public before coming to the country.

Mr Trump was invited for a state visit by the Queen, and Number 10 says there has been ‘no change’ to his planned trip.

However, US officials have said Mr Trump ‘does not feel like’ visiting the UK any time soon.

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(Picture: AP)

The Guardian report claimed the president told Mrs May in a telephone call in ‘recent weeks’ that he did not want to travel to the UK until he had support from the British public.

The paper quoted a Number 10 adviser ‘who was in the room’ at the time as saying that Mrs May had been ‘surprised’ by his remarks.

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But when asked about the report, a White House spokeswoman said: ‘The president has tremendous respect for Prime Minister May. That subject never came up on the call.’

Downing Street did not comment on the claims, but said the invitation given by Mrs May on behalf of the Queen when she met Mr Trump in Washington just seven days after his inauguration remained unchanged.

A spokesman 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.’

The decision to grant Mr Trump the honour of a state visit so soon after taking office was seen as controversial at the time.

And tensions have been further inflamed by the president’s Twitter remarks aimed at London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks on London Bridge.

When Mr Khan’s office said he had simply been saying people should not be alarmed by the additional police presence on the streets, Mr Trump accused him of making ‘pathetic excuses’, prompting the mayor to call for the visit to be dropped.

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