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I Canceled London Visit Over Obama Administration Decision
12 January 2018, 03:06 | Darnell Patrick
PA Wire PA Images
President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to open the U.S. embassy in London, claiming the cost and location of the new building was a "bad deal".
The last word from the USA ambassador there, Woody Johnson, was that while he hoped Trump would come to dedicate the new embassy, no date had been set for such a journey.
According to Daily Mail, Trump was scheduled to take part in the inauguration ceremony of the new embassy building in London.
But Trump sparked a strong backlash in November when he retweeted three unverified anti-Muslim videos from the far-right group Britain First.
The billion-dollar price tag is typical of an embassy construction of that size, and officials said it was financed entirely by the sale of other US property in England - not new taxpayer money.
Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, told Financial News late previous year: "I think it's embarrassing that he has been to Riyadh, Warsaw, Rome and Paris but has not come to London".
Trump had previously expressed concern about the likelihood of mass protests, telling May in 2016 he did not want to go ahead with a visit until the British public supported it.
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The decision to move the embassy from its historic location in London's Grosvenor Square was made under President George W. Bush and announced in October 2008.
There had been speculation that the trip would be merged with a planned state visit to Britain offered to Trump by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has met with strong public and political opposition.
Downing Street has declined to comment on Trump's cancellation of the working visit to the UK.
A United Kingdom official said on Thursday the invitation to Trump for a state visit, first extended by British Prime Minister Theresa May during her visit to the USA early in Trump's presidency, still stands: "The invitation for a State Visit has been extended and accepted", the official said.
The new building was to have a focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.
"President Trumpgot the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and action the polar opposite of our city's values", Khan said in a statement released on Twitter.
The BBC understands that No 10 is considering options for a state visit later in the year, with plans for Mr Trump to have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
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