Trump, May hail great US-UK ties amid protests
London: Washington and London had the “greatest alliance the world has ever known” said US President Donald Trump at a joint news conference with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, here on Tuesday.
The press conference followed talks between Trump and May at 10 Downing Street. May said they had a “great relationship” that they should “build on”, the BBC reported.
Amid the Trump-May talks, protesters gathered in central London to voice their opposition to the US President’s visit. Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn urged the US President to “think on about peace” as he addressed protesters in Westminster.
Earlier during a breakfast meeting at St. James’s Palace, Trump said he believed there was scope for further expansion of trade between the US and the UK and urged May to “stick around” to let the two countries have a “very, very substantial trade deal”.
“I think we will have a very, very substantial trade deal,” he told May. “This is something you want to do and my folks want to do,” he added. “Stick around. Let’s do this deal.”
May said there were “huge opportunities” for Britain and the US to work together. “It is a great partnership, but I think a partnership we can take even further,” she told the US President, adding, “Of course, that is with a good bilateral trade deal.”
At an another visit-related event, a meeting of five British and five American firms, senior ministers and officials was held to boost trade links.
Trump was also set to hold talks with Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Gove, reports said.
Meanwhile, protesters voiced their opposition to Trump’s visit. Demonstrations were also planned in Birmingham, Stoke, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Chester, Leicester, Oxford and Exeter.
The police said more than 3,000 officers were deployed for the President’s visit.
Corbyn, who boycotted the state dinner, was joined at the rally by members of other political parties, including the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. Stating that he didn’t refuse to meet Trump, Corbyn said, “I want to have a dialogue.”
Corbyn criticised the US President’s attack on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. “I am proud that our city has a Muslim Mayor, that we can chase down Islamophobia, anti-semitism, any form of racism within our society,” Corbyn said.
Khan defended his party leader Corbyn’s decision to boycott the state dinner at the palace. The Mayor said he felt he and Corbyn shared the view that a “close relationship” with the US President was important, but “what shouldn’t happen is a state banquet and a state visit with the red carpet rolled out. I think it’s inappropriate.”
Those visits should be reserved for leaders who had done something and deserved that, he said and added, “It sends the wrong message to be seen to condone some of the things this President has said and done.”
On Monday, Trump was welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II and had lunch at Buckingham Palace with senior royals. He also visited Westminster Abbey and had tea at Clarence House with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. He had also attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
The US President’s visit coincides with the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which the Queen, Trump and other heads of state will attend at Portsmouth on Wednesday.