Protesters gathering support as Donald Trump's UK state visit confirmed

Will Metcalfe
Contributor
File photo dated 14/3/2019 of US President Donald Trump whose long-awaited state visit to the UK is expected to be announced on Tuesday, sources have said.

Protesters are preparing to take to the streets for Donald Trump’s state visit.

On Tuesday Buckingham Palace confirmed Mr Trump and his wife Melania will be guests of the Queen during the three-day visit, which begins on June 3.

But as the news was announced protest groups were already planning a mass turnout across the UK in a bid to send a message to the president.

Together Against Trump has already received more than 1,400 individual pledges of support for its event in the capital, and it is likely other demonstrations will take place across the country.

During Trump’s visit to the UK in 2018 a crowdfunding campaign saw the ‘Trump Baby’ flown above London and paraded through the capital’s streets.

The 'Trump Baby' blimp, a six meter-high helium-filled effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump, flies over Parliament Square in London, U.K. on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Karyn Louise/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Already more than 50 MPs have signed an early day motion opposing the visit, according to PoliticsHome.

Organised by Home Affairs Committee member Stephen Doughty the motion takes aim at the US leader's policies on immigration, comments about women - and a 2017 claim from President Trump that London mayor Sadiq Khan had done a "terrible job" in responding to terror attacks in the city.

It accuses President Trump of "misogynism, racism and xenophobia", attacks his "previous comments on women, refugees and torture", and blasts his "lack of action on climate change and failure to support the Paris Climate Change Deal".

And it is thought thousands of protesters could once more take to the streets.

Queen Elizabeth II, US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk in the Quadrangle during a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle, Windsor, during his 2018 visit. (PA)

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: "It beggars belief that on the very same day Donald Trump is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution against the use of rape as a weapon of war, Theresa May is pressing ahead with her plans to honour him with a state visit to the UK.

"This is a president who has systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our two countries, and unless Theresa May is finally going to stand up to him and object to that behaviour, she has no business wasting taxpayers' money on all the pomp, ceremony and policing costs that will come with this visit."

In a post on Facebook Together Against Trump said: “Last year, a quarter of a million mobilised to say no to Trump’s politics of hate and division.

“This time, we will take to the streets in even bigger numbers - to fight for migrant and refugee rights, for women’s rights, against the corporate elites and for the future of our planet.

'Stop Trump' demonstrators march through London as part of the protests against the visit of US President Donald Trump to the UK in July 2018. (PA)

“This demonstration isn't just about Trump as one man.

“He is a symbol of the new far right, a politics of islamophobia and anti-semitism, of war and conflict, and walls and fences that are growing around the world.The British elite also has a disgraceful record of racism and bigotry, and on failing to tackle climate chaos.

“This is when we take stand together against our own "hostile environment” as well as that of the American government. Together Against Trump is organised jointly by the Stop Trump Coalition and Stand up to Trump.”

The visit comes more than two years after Prime Minister Theresa May offered the invitation to the US leader just days into his presidency, when they met for the first time at the White House in January 2017.

Mrs May was widely criticised for bestowing such an honour on a controversial figure and campaigners have already pledged to organise demonstrations.

Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement: "The President of the United States of America, President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by Mrs Melania Trump, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June 2019."

The Prime Minister said Mr Trump's visit would be a chance for the UK and US to strengthen their "already close relationship".

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Mr Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Mrs May during the trip and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Countries which fought alongside the United Kingdom in the historic military operation, as well as Germany, have been invited to attend.

Mrs May said: "The UK and United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests.

"We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our co-operation.

"The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead."

Details of the ceremonial elements of the visit have yet to be announced by Buckingham Palace, but the visit is likely to follow the traditional format of an official open-air welcome featuring prestigious British regiments, lunch with the Queen and a state banquet.