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State Visit Date for Trump visit could be announced soon, White House says

A DATE for Donald Trump to visit Britain will be announced “soon,” the White House said yesterday amid expectations that he will arrive in February to open the new US embassy.

There was no confirmation from London or Washington of reports that the US president had told Prime Minister Theresa May about his plans to visit when she phoned him on Tuesday evening.

Her offer of a state visit this year was put on hold because of planned demonstrations outside the new embassy in Vauxhall, south London, by campaign groups Stand Up to Trump and Stand Up to Racism.

But there has been widespread speculation that he could open the embassy on a more low-profile working visit, which would not involve a meeting with the Queen.

A Downing Street spokesman said that Ms May’s phone call with Mr Trump had focused on their differences over his highly provocative decision earlier this month to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised the PM for “not calling out” Mr Trump after he retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of far-right group Britain First.

Her spokesman confirmed that no reference was made to the tweets during the phone call.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “It has taken Theresa May two weeks to contact Trump over his dangerous decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, yet she seems to have failed to use the opportunity to call him out for retweeting abhorrent Islamophobic material.

“As Prime Minister, May has a responsibility to stand up against hate and for all communities in our country.”

The call was the first time the two leaders had spoken since their public row over Mr Trump retweeting Jayda Fransen’s posts.

At the time, the PM said Mr Trump was “wrong” to retweet the videos, and he hit back at Ms May on Twitter by telling her to focus on “destructive radical Islamic terrorism” in Britain, rather than on him.

The fact that 13 days passed between Ms May’s announcement during Prime Minister’s questions that she intended to speak with Mr Trump about Jerusalem and the call actually taking place was a “matter of scheduling,” her spokesman said.

She spoke to the US president after Britain joined 13 other members of the UN security council in backing a resolution, vetoed by the US, which “regretted” his stance on Jerusalem.


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