Trump says Brexit 'can and should happen' as he dismisses Corbyn and protesters
- Donald Trump says Brexit ‘can and should happen’
- President turned down a meeting with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
- Baby blimp flied for two hours in front of President's motorcade
- Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt invited for meetings with Trump
- Boris Johnson and Trump speak on phone for 20 minutes
- President says selling off NHS is ‘on the table’ for trade talks
Donald Trump revealed he rejected a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn as he said Brexit “can and should happen”.
The US president emerged from talks at Downing Street with prime minister Theresa May in typically bullish mood.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the Foreign Office, Mr Trump said of Brexit: “It will happen and it should happen.
“This is a great country which wants to have its own borders and its own identity. The prime minister has brought it to a very good point where something will take place in the very near future.”
He paid tribute to Mrs May, saying to her: “That deal is teed up. They have to do something. You deserve a lot of credit, you really do.”
He said it was a “true honour” working with Mrs May, telling her: “You are a tremendous professional and a person who loves her country dearly.”
Trump v Corbyn
Mr Trump revealed, later confirmed by the Labour Party, that Mr Corbyn had requested a meeting with him.
He said: “I don’t know Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve never met him. He wanted to meet today or tomorrow, but I decided not to meet.”
A Labour spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn proposed a meeting with Donald Trump during the president's visit.
"Jeremy is ready to engage with the president on a range of issues, including the climate emergency, threats to peace and the refugee crisis."
Mr Corbyn controversially declined to attend the state banquet for Mr Trump on Monday night, and addressed an anti-Trump rally just minutes before the president’s press conference with the outgoing prime minister.
He told protesters: "We can chase down Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and any form of racism.
“We as a community and people have to work together to bring about that different world."
He said: "I am not, absolutely not, refusing to meet anybody.
"I want to be able to have that dialogue to bring about the better and more peaceful world that we all want to live in."
Next Prime Minister?
In a break from convention Donald Trump had a 20-minute phone call with Boris Johnson earlier today.
The White House also confirmed it had reached out to Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove for talks.
It is not clear whether any of the other hopefuls have received an invite.
Asked about his preference for a Tory leadership candidate, Mr Trump said: “I know Boris. I think he would do a very good job. I know Jeremy [Hunt], I think he would do a very good job. I don’t know Michael. Would he do a good job?”
‘Fake news’ protests
The President described the thousands of people protesting in London against his visit as “fake news”.
He said: “I did see a very small protest, but a lot of it was fake news. It was a very small group of people, put in for political reasons.”
In fact thousands of people attended demonstrations in London.
Speaking at Parliament Square, Shaista Aziz, from the Stop Trump coalition, said the demonstration was "very exciting" and the Trump blimp has "captured the world's imagination".
NHS for sale
Mr Trump sparked outrage after saying the NHS remains on the table for any trade deal between the two countries.
During a joint press conference with Theresa May following talks between the leaders, he said: "I think everything with a trade deal is on the table.
"When you’re dealing in trade everything is on the table so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely."
Contenders in the race to be the next prime minister moved to distance themselves from the call for the NHS to be covered by a new UK-US trade deal after Brexit.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stressed “the NHS isn’t on the table” and “never will be” under him.
Dominic Raab said the NHS “is not for sale” and would not be if he was in Number 10.
Fellow Tory leadership contender Sam Gyimah also hit back at Mr Trump’s suggestion, saying the NHS “should not be used as a bargaining chip” in the talks.
And International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he would not be “offering up” the NHS in any trade deal.