Trump’s First Day in London
The U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in the UK on Monday in preparation for a three-day visit. Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the visit from U.S. President Donald Trump with a smile at Buckingham Palace, the main official residence in central London. The most significant part of Trump’s visit will fall on Tuesday and Wednesday, so Monday was primarily devoted to pomp and ceremony. It was reported that Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump first arrived in the U.K. on “Air Force One” and transferred to the “Navy One” helicopter to fly to Buckingham Palace, where Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were waiting to welcome the Trumps. After an inspection of trooping guards with bearskin hats and guns blasting at the Tower of London, Trump hailed the Queen as a “great, great woman” during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
However, the first day came amid less dignified bickering as the elaborate displays of hospitality did little to prevent Trump from tweeting insults at Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.
The ‘crossfire’ with the mayor of London
Just before the President flew to London, he did not forget to “fire” at the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. On the 2nd of June, the former mayor of London wrote in the Guardian that it is “un-British to roll out the red carpet” for the U.S. president Donald Trump. Mr Khan warned that the threat posed by the far-right and populist forces to the world is increasing, and the U.S. President “is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat.”
Trump did not show any weakness in his response. In the tweet, he accused Sadiq Khan of being a “terrible” London mayor and had a “foolishly nasty” attitude towards the U.S. president. He tweeted that the mayor of Indian descendant was “a stone cold loser” and should focus on crime in London instead of paying attention to him.
The president also stated that the U.S. is by far the most important ally of the U.K., further mentioning that Khan reminded him of the “very dumb and incompetent” mayor of his hometown of New York City, Bill de Blasio. He even added that Sadik Khan is “only half his [Bill de Blasio] height”. Sadik Khan’s supporters had previously accused Trump of making a racially discriminatory statement against London’s first Muslim mayor.
However, after a series of negative tweets related to the U.K. visit, Trump was looking forward to “being a good friend to the United Kingdom”.
The awkward dinner in Buckingham Palace
On the first night of Trump’s visit, the United Kingdom hosted a banquet at Buckingham Palace. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised Trump for intervening in U.K. politics and subsequently refused to participate in the state banquet. Corbyn also stated that Trump intended to decide who will be the next British Prime Minister and this was an interference to the democratic mechanism in the U.K.. The Labour leader promised to “stand in solidarity” with anti-Trump protests after boycotting Monday night’s formal banquet. He will lead a demonstration against Donald Trump on Tuesday.
An awkward point was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who joined the dinner amid a feud with the President that involved accusing the former American-born actress as “nasty” in an interview.
Trump’s visit comes as the U.K. is facing its most significant economic crisis since the Second World War – Brexit. On this issue, Trump has regularly criticised May’s Brexit tactics and stated that the U.K. must complete the Brexit deal by the end of this year. He even mentioned that no matter who replaces Teresa, they must complete Brexit before October 31.
Earlier, the President was known for his “daring words” as he told The Sun, that the former foreign minister and Conservative MP Boris Johnson would be an “excellent” candidate to replace Theresa May as PM. Mr Trump had also shown a support for Nigel Farage, the leader of Brexit Party and an arch-enemy of Mrs May. In the Sunday Times interview, he suggested that the U.K. government should bring in Nigel Farage to help with the process of Brexit. He also mentioned that if he was in the UK’s position, he “wouldn’t pay” the $50 billion Brexit divorce bill. “If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away,” he added. According to the Guardian, Trump had negotiated the possibility of a post-Brexit trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. during his state visit.
By Steven Gao
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