Trump arrives in London, insults its mayor, lobbies for no deal Brexit

The US President Donald Trump arrived on his state visit to Britain on Monday in a combative mood, following up his weekend interventions over Brexit with a broadside against London’s “loser” mayor, news wires reported.

The president’s plane had not even touched down when he tweeted that Sadiq Khan, who has been highly critical of the red-carpet welcome laid on for Trump, had done a “terrible job”.The president called the mayor a “stone cold loser” before adding: “In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the UK and am looking very much forward to my visit.”

Britain is in turmoil with PM Theresa May due to step down within weeks over her handling of her country’s exit from the European Union. Trump also said before he arrived that former foreign minister Boris Johnson would make an “excellent” choice to succeed May.

In a round of British newspaper interviews, he also recommended her successor walk away from talks with Brussels, refuse to pay Britain’s agreed divorce bill and leave the EU with no deal.

Labour’s Khan has led opposition to the three-day visit, condemning Trump’s “divisive behaviour” and saying he was “one of the most egregious examples” of a growing global threat from the far-right. Large protests are planned in London, while opposition politicians are also boycotting the state banquet on Monday night.

Queen Elizabeth II will welcome Trump and his wife Melania to Buckingham Palace later on Monday, where they will be treated to a guard of honour, a private lunch and a glittering state

The much vaunted UK-US “special relationship” was already under strain over different approaches to Iran, China and climate change, as well as Trump’s personal politics.

 

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