Donald Trump will visit London in July despite the threat of protests, the US ambassador to the UK has insisted.
The US President has been warned by London’s mayor that he should expect to see demonstrators during his “working visit” to the UK on July 13.
But US ambassador Woody Johnson has stressed Trump will “definitely be coming to London”.
He told LBC on Friday: “He’s very thick-skinned. He knows what he wants to do and he speaks in a very clear and unusual way from most politicians.
“Most politicians don’t weigh it out the way he does and so he is going to get a lot of criticism for that as people interpret where he is taking everything.
“But I think in the end, people are starting to, even now, realise that where he is going is a good direction.”
Johnson told Nick Ferrari it would be “all hands on deck” as preparations are made for the visit.
He said: “He will definitely be coming to London.”
Johnson said exactly who the president would have meetings with was still being finalised.
Downing Street confirmed on Thursday that Theresa May would hold bi-lateral talks with Trump and that further details will be “set out in due course”.
Trump’s visit will fall short of the full-blown “state visit”, which sparked outrage when it was suggested last year.
Reports suggest Trump will meet the Queen during a trip that will take place predominantly outside London, amid the fear of the protests.
As long-threatened mass demonstrations began to be organised and politicians stated they would join in, London mayor Khan tweeted: “If he comes to London, President Trump will experience an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope over fear.
“He will also no doubt see that Londoners hold their liberal values of freedom of speech very dear.”
If he comes to London, President Trump will experience an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope over fear. He will also no doubt see that Londoners hold their liberal values of freedom of speech very dear.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 26, 2018
The announcement of Trump’s trip comes after the president was offered a “state visit” to Britain after he was elected, which prompted a huge backlash and questions over whether it would actually happen.
His statements, particularly the pledge to ban Muslims from travelling to the US when he was running for election, caused ire and revolusion in Britain.
Trump also stoked a war of words with Khan, calling the Mayor “pathetic”. Khan later said Trump was behaving “like a 12-year-old”.
But the announcement of Trump’s visit revealed how some senior British politicians have changed their tune on him.
Boris Johnson, who said in December 2015 “the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”, tweeted the news about the now-president’s trip was “fantastic”.
FANTASTIC news that President @realdonaldtrump will at last come to Britain on 13 July. Looking forward to seeing our closest ally and friend on the GREATest visit ever. ]]>👌🇬🇧🇺🇸🌹