Donald Trump’s long-anticipated state visit to the UK has been stripped down to a ‘working visit’ in early 2018 that won’t include tea with the Queen, according to media reports.
by Nick Miller
The president may also cut the ribbon on the new US embassy, the Standard reported.
However he will not sleep at Buckingham Palace as the guest of the Queen, and there will not be a glitzy banquet in his honour.
The report said a future state visit had not been ruled out, but no date had been set.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Trump had accepted an invite for a state visit, but that her office was not aware of any discussions relating to a separate working visit.
In January Mrs May visited the White House and offered Mr Trump a state visit as a guest of the Queen: a move interpreted as a signal of the continuing ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.
It was immediately criticised as a breach of convention, as state visits are usually reserved for a president’s second term.
House of Commons speaker John Bercow said he would oppose the president being invited to give an address in Westminster Hall, citing the president’s controversial travel ban and saying “opposition to racism and sexism” were important considerations.
London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet” for Mr Trump, but was reported to be open to a working visit. Any encounter between the two would likely be frosty, after Mr Trump publicly berated the mayor over his response to the London Bridge terror attack.
There was also a public backlash, with almost two million people signing a petition saying the US president’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” disqualified him from an audience with the Queen.