London won’t ‘roll out red carpet’ for Donald Trump, says Mayor Sadiq Khan
Khan, who publicly clashed with Trump in a furious social media exchange following the London Bridge terrorist attack, said the president should not be afforded an elaborate visit.
“State visits are different from a normal visit, and at a time when the president of the USA has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet,” Khan told CNN.
“If someone has views that I think can be changed, I am ready to play my role.
“If you somehow think it is not possible to be a Muslim and a proud Westerner, I am happy to disabuse you of that idea, whether you are a reporter for CNN or Donald Trump,” he added.
Last week, the White House confirmed Trump’s state visit to the UK has been delayed until 2018.
Prime Minister Theresa May officially invited Trump in January. That sparked a backlash which saw nearly 2 million people sign an online petition seeking to block Trump’s trip over fears that it would “cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
Despite the invite, both sides have failed to arrange a date amid reports that Trump has been put off by the threat of large-scale protests.
In a phone call to May, it is claimed the US president said “I haven’t had great coverage out there lately, Theresa,” and “fix it for me.”
Khan and Trump’s relationship got off to a bumpy start over Khan’s opposition to Trump’s decision to ban people from a list of mainly Muslim countries from entering the US.
A few months later, a Twitter row broke out between Khan and Trump in the wake of the London Bridge terrorist attack after the latter called the mayor’s response “pathetic.”
“Pathetic excuse by London mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!” the tweet said.
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
Khan had said the morning after the attack that “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days.
“There’s no reason to be alarmed.”
Writing for the Telegraph, former foreign secretary William Hague said Britain should take note of France’s “full charm offensive” when Trump visited Paris last week.
“President Macron may be a complete novice as the leader of France, but in the way he hosted Donald Trump in Paris last week he showed the skill, vision and cunning of an old pro,” Hague wrote.
“To all of those in this country who have bleated and protested about Theresa May’s invitation to Trump to make a state visit to Britain, the benefits of Macron’s manoeuvre are plain to see.”
Hague says dinner atop the Eiffel Tower, massed military parades and the “excitement of Bastille Day” resulted in Trump returning home “more positive about the performance of a key ally,” more likely to consult France in the future and “apparently open to some movement in his position on climate change.”
He added: “You can agree with all of the … criticism of Trump and yet still greet him with all the pomp, fuss and flypasts the country can muster.”