PRESIDENT Donald Trump was expected pay a controversial visit to the UK in February but cancelled at the last minute in a bizarre spat over the new US embassy.
Ambassador Woody Johnson suggested that "working visit" was on the cards — but in January the President snubbed Britain with another strange Twitter rant.
Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit the 45th President at the White House in January 2017, just seven days after his inauguration, and she invited Trump on a return trip to Britain.
Before he stepped down from the role, former Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe let slip it had been pencilled in for June.
But in February 2017 it was revealed that Trump’s visit had been delayed until at least October in a bid to avoid protests and MPs’ snubs.
They agreed to postpone it until the autumn hoping the controversy of his attempted travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim countries would die down.
In June it was said the trip was being postponed again "until people support him coming" to the UK.
The Guardian reported that Trump phoned the Prime Minister to warn her he didn't want to go ahead with the trip if there was widespread public opposition.
Trump was then due to come to the UK in February 2018 and the White House and Downing Street looked for options for the visit — settling on an opening ceremony for the new US embassy in London.
In an interview with Andrew Marr on January 7 the PM confirmed the President would be visiting Britain this year but declined to give a date.
A poll found four per cent of people – about two million – said they would join a protest if he was given a full state visit.
In December 2017 it was reported Trump was planning a "working visit" to London in late February when he will open the new US embassy and hold talks with Theresa May – despite his Twitter spat with the PM over race hate videos.
But he was not due meet the Queen or other royals in the stripped-back visit.
The Foreign Office said: “Our position on the State Visit has not changed – an offer has been extended and President Trump has accepted.
"Exact dates for President Trump to visit have not yet been arranged.”
But in a bizarre twist, Donald Trump tweeted in January 2018 – just weeks before the planned visit – that he was pulling out.
He said it was a "bad deal" that the old embassy building in Grosvenor Square, Westminster was sold for "peanuts" and moved to an "off location".
Home Secretary Amber Rudd hinted Trump's state visit could have been postponed again anyway after the US President retweeted anti-Muslim videos.
Theresa May criticised the president after he retweeted three clips from the account of far-right Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen.
Asked if it was wrong to roll out the "red carpet" to Trump following his controversial tweets, Ms Rudd said: ‘The invitation has been extended and accepted but we have yet to make the arrangements. No date has been agreed yet."
But she stopped short of saying he would not be welcomed.
Ms Rudd added that the relationship is so important she "wouldn’t want to harm it at all".
But other ministers said a visit would be "unimaginable" after Trump mocked Mrs May on Twitter.
The first video Trump's account re-posted is captioned: "Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches."
The second post features a clip showing a Muslim man appearing to destroy a statue of the Virgin Mary.
The third and final tweet claims to show a group of men killing a youngster and is titled: "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death."
The US President hit back telling Mrs May: "Don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism".
But Trump sent the tweet to @theresamay – the account of a Theresa Scrivener, a 41-year-old mother from Bognor Regis, Sussex, who has just six followers and has posted nine tweets since joining the social media site in 2009.
Sam Gyimah, the Prisons Minister, said he was "deeply uncomfortable" with the prospect of rolling the red carpet out for the divisive US President.
He admitted that he is personally powerless to stop the state visit – but warned that Mr Trump's arrival in Britain would be "divisive".
After the invitation of a state visit was first announced, campaigners staged protests in Westminster urging the government to withdraw the offer because they oppose Donald Trump's election and his policies.
Protesters were furious at his travel ban on people from six nations on national security grounds.
They were also outraged at Trump's discriminatory remarks about immigrants as well as comments they say are sexist.
An online petition titled "Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom" was signed by 1.86million people.
It said he should be allowed to visit the UK – but demanded the Government withdraw the invitation of a state visit because his "misogyny and vulgarity" would embarrass the Queen.
A rival petition titled "Donald Trump should make a State Visit to the United Kingdom" gained more than 311,000 signatures.
Supporters said it would be absurd not to invite the democratically elected President when tyrants have been welcomed in the past.
MPs have debated both petitions in Westminster Hall, where politicians branded Mr Trump a "petulant child" and blasted Britain's "fawning subservience" and "desperation" for a trade deal.
Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan insisted the state visit "should and will go ahead" despite protests, adding: "This is a special moment for the special relationship."
A state visit is a formal visit from the head of state of a foreign country at the invitation of another head of state.
They are considered to show deeply friendly relations between the two nations and tend to be characterised by extravagant ceremonies.
Below a State visit is an official visit which generally has significantly less ceremony surrounding it.
A working visit simply means the foreign head of state is visiting the country and requires no invitation or ceremony on the part of the host nation.
Sadiq Khan said Donald Trump should not get a full state visit to the UK and warned the red carpet would not be rolled out for him.
The Mayor of London renewed his war of words with the US President ahead of his planned trip in February – now cancelled over the embassy row.
He said: “State visits are different from a normal visit and at a time when the President of the USA has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet.
“If you somehow think it is not possible to be a Muslim and a proud westerner I am happy to disabuse you of that idea, whether you are a reporter for CNN or Donald Trump.”
Referring to the attacks by Mr Trump on him, when he described his response to the London Bridge terrorist attack as “pathetic”, Mr Khan replied: “I think they were very rude statements and frankly tell him I will remember those statements.”
Khan demanded Trump apologise over a series of tweets promoting far-right thugs Britain First.
The London Mayor said: "It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great."
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