Pomp and politics: How the papers covered day one of Donald Trump’s UK visit

The pomp, pageantry and politics of day one of Donald Trump’s state visit have given the papers plenty to chew over.

The Daily Mail rues the “petulant and deeply unedifying spat” between Mr Trump and London mayor Sadiq Khan, who the president called a “stone cold loser” as he touched down in Air Force One.

The paper ponders: “One can only guess what the brave British and American soldiers who stormed the Normandy beaches together on D-Day would have made of it.

“Like peevish children, London mayor Sadiq Khan and Donald Trump traded insults and called each other names, demeaning both themselves and their offices.”

However the Mail welcomes the Queen’s “supreme diplomacy”, adding: “Whatever his failings, she recognises Mr Trump represents our staunchest ally and accords him the respect his office merits.”

The Daily Mirror says Mr Trump, who Mr Khan earlier compared to 20th century fascists, “landed in Britain with the decorum of a rogue elephant”.

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“The US president’s ill-tempered, undignified, antics perfectly illustrate why he is viewed as an unpopular oaf, though our relationship with America and Americans remains strong,” the paper says.

“He has again shown himself to be a thin-skinned blunderer repeatedly failing to live up to the demands of the post he occupies.”

President Trump state visit to UK – Day One
President Trump state visit to UK – Day One

The Daily Telegraph hails the occasion as a “soft power triumph for our great nation”.

“This was a signal moment for Mr Trump, one that he appeared to relish,” the paper says.

The Telegraph also says the Labour figures and Commons speaker John Bercow, who also declined to attend the state banquet, “fail to understand that the presence of the American president on UK soil demonstrates that this country can still project its ‘soft power’ in ways few others can”.

The Daily Express praises Mr Trump for his good behaviour while spending the day with the Royal Family, although it notes his earlier political interventions.

“No-one will change the President who has shown that he thrives on conflict”, the paper says.

“We should muster our national dignity and deal with him as holder of the supreme office of President of the United States.”

Writing for The Guardian, Owen Jones calls for an end to the “Donald Trump clown show” and its constituent political tropes.

He says: “(Tuesday’s) protests will be about Trumpism: about confronting a resurgent global far right, defending the rights of women and minorities, fighting the climate emergency, opposing the threat of war, and standing against an attempt to gut the NHS and trash hard-won rights and freedoms.

“Trump will have left our shores by Wednesday: sadly, our own Trumpism will remain and, in the coming months, we must continue to fight it.”

The Sun warns there is a “national consequence” to the public criticism of Mr Trump being made by some political figures.

“How does Britain look to America when such “senior” figures witlessly abuse or snub the leader of the free world during his state visit for the poignant D-Day anniversary?” the paper says.