No trip to London since embassy site is a 'bad deal'

Simon Dawson  Reuters                   Security personnel and police remove the demonstrators

Woody Johnson, Trump's appointed United States ambassador to Britain, told reporters last month that moving to the new site at Nine Elms reflected "the global outlook of the USA going forward in the 21st century: rather looking out, than looking in".

During May's USA trip a year ago, she extended an invitation to Trump to make a formal state visit - which includes pomp, pageantry and a banquet with Queen Elizabeth.

"Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts, ' only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars".

The new embassy on the South Bank is a veritable fortress set back at least 30 metres from surrounding buildings - mostly newly-erected high-rise residential blocks - and incorporates living quarters for the US Marines permanently stationed inside.

On the embassy web page about the project, it said: "The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds".

Ms May controversially extended the offer of a state visit when she became the first world leader to meet Mr Trump in the White House following his inauguration a year ago.

Last night British officials said the visit was canned for "personal reasons" after a series of perceived slights.

"We are strongly committed in the special relationship between our two countries and we are confident the new embassy will provide the necessary platform to continue our cooperation".

Simon Dawson  Reuters
Simon Dawson Reuters

President Donald Trump was expected to visit London in February - and now that his trip has been put on hold, many are at odds as to why.

An invitation from May for Trump to visit Queen Elizabeth II has encountered growing opposition, fuelled in part by the president's Twitter criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his retweets of propaganda from a far-right British anti-Muslim group.

The White House has yet to respond to The Independent's request for comment. Values for the best offices in the West End, which includes Mayfair, have doubled since then.

The Grosvenor Square building has been sold to the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, which plans to turn it into a luxury hotel, The Guardian reported.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are due to marry in May after a year long romance and will tie the knot at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

"Who his Royal Highness Prince Harry and Miss Markle invite to their wedding is really a matter for them", said senior Conservative Party lawmaker Tom Tugendhat.

"The US is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure", the spokesman said.

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