Donald Trump Delays UK State Visit to October: Report

Donald Trump Delays UK State Visit to October: ReportDonald Trump Delays UK State Visit to October: Report

File photo of US President Donald Trump



London: US President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to delay his planned state visit to the UK until October in an attempt to steer clear of the controversy surrounding his tour.

Trump was due to make the visit in June and then some reports suggested the visit may take place in August/September.

A latest news report indicates that the date might be delayed further to October after a phone call he had with British Prime Minister Theresa May last month.

‘The Sun’ claimed that the visit is now expected to take place from October 5 to 8 in an attempt to avoid mass protests. The paper quoted a senior government source as saying, “Trump still really wants to come this year but he wants the heat to die down a bit first. The White House don’t want to create a scene for our sake either.”

The invitation for the state visit had been conveyed by May on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II during her US visit in January.

It triggered a major backlash in Britain, with a petition opposing the tour attracting 1.8 million signatures.

A second petition in support of such a state visit had attracted over 300,000 signatures. Both petitions were debated in the House of Commons in line with UK parliamentary rules that require petitions receiving more than the 100,000 signatures to be considered for a debate.

“The government strongly believes that it is a perfectly legitimate decision to use the full impact of an invitation to maximise the diplomatic significance of a state visit at the start of President Trump’s term of office,” UK Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan had said, relaying the government’s stand on the issue.

The visit, which involves much pomp and ceremony,has been at the centre of a string of controversies, including House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s impartiality coming into question after he said that Trump should be barred from addressing Parliament during any such visit to the UK.

First Published: March 1, 2017, 7:57 PM IST