The White House says Trump will make a state visit to the UK in June. A previous visit by the US president was greeted with huge protests and a giant balloon depicting him as a crying baby.
US President Donald Trump is expected to visit the UK for a formal state visit, with the White House expected to confirm the plans imminently.
Trump last visited the UK in July last year for a working visit, which was distinct from a formal state visit. The former is less formal and involves less ceremony than the latter, which is issued directly by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the government.
Speaking to journalists before a banquet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump endorsed her rival Boris Johnson, declaring that he would make a ‘great’ prime minister.
Trump also reportedly broke royal protocol on several occasions by keeping the Queen waiting and walking ahead of her instead of slightly besides the then 92-year-old monarch.
British media reports at the time also suggested that the visit was deliberately planned to avoid encountering any demonstrators and that Trump had postponed plans for a more formal visit because he did not want to be greeted with protests.
But if it’s protests the US president is hoping to avoid, he will find it no easier this time around. Britons were planning protests and asking whether the ‘Trump Baby’ balloon was making a comeback, as soon as news that he would be visiting broke.
So @BBCJonSopel is reporting that Trump is going to make a state visit to the UK in June. Last time he visited, he created a reasonably serious diplomatic incident with an interview he gave and the Trump baby flew over London (here is a photo I took). https://t.co/TE5Lug09Vq pic.twitter.com/QkefYa4kUa— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) April 22, 2019
“Donald Trump 'set for June state visit to UK' I feel a day trip to London to protest may be in order,” wrote Twitter user Karen Reekie, reacting to the news.
‘Okay, prepare the Trump baby,’ wrote another and “See you back on the streets folks,” wrote Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.
Trump remains an unwelcome figure for many Britons over his hard-right views, including his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the US.
When Theresa May first invited the US president to formally visit the UK after he took office in January 2017, more than 1.5 million people signed a petition calling on the British government to rescind the invitation, with tens of thousands marching on May’s residence in Downing Street.
Previous US presidents have also been greeted by mass protests, most notably Trump’s fellow Republican, George W Bush in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Tens of thousands protested, but the visit went ahead without major hiccup.
What makes the Trump visits unique is the scale of opposition. Bush was largely welcomed by politicians and officials, while Trump has been personally rebuked by the Speaker of Parliament John Bercow over his ‘racism and sexism’, as well as other politicians, including leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, who has condemned Trump for his ‘divisive rhetoric’.
Ok British cousins - we're gonna need you to step up your protest game when Trump visits next. Please? 😉👍 https://t.co/sfRWZAU6QL— Kaysey17 (@kaysey17) April 23, 2019