WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would be canceling an upcoming visit to London due to his anger at his predecessor, Barack Obama, a decision that on Friday was welcomed by the city’s mayor.
Trump, who was due to inaugurate the new US embassy in London, said late Thursday that he was suspending his trip because Obama had undersold the old embassy.
“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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon- NO!” he tweeted.
However, the decision to move the embassy was taken in 2008, when George W. Bush was President.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, of the Labour Party, said Friday that Trump had gotten the message that many people in the city were opposed to his visit, which would have undoubtedly been met with mass peaceful protests.
“It appears that President Trump got the message from many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance,” he said.
Khan and Trump have in the past clashed over conflicting views on terrorism, immigration and security.
The US President’s cancellation was met with disappointment from his friend Nigel Farage, the former leader of the anti-immigration euroskeptic United Kingdom Independence Party, who lamented that Trump had visited many countries, but not the one he had the closest relationship with.
The US decided to move its embassy, which was located in the upscale Mayfair neighborhood, over security concerns.
For years, the government had spent large sums of money in securing its building, but finally decided it was a better option to move it to the Nine Elms district, in southern London.