Donald Trump state visit to UK 'will not take place this year'

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Donald Trump's state visit to Britain will not take place this year, it is understood.

Amid reports that the visit could take place next year, Number 10 sources said no date has been fixed, but officials are believed to be looking at a date in 2018.

Theresa May invited the controversial US president on a state visit to the UK shortly after he took office, but speculation that it may have been put on hold was fuelled by its absence from last month's Queen's Speech.

Reports suggested Mr Trump wants the meeting delayed until it can take place without protests, although these claims were denied by the White House.

Fresh speculation about the state visit comes after the Prime Minister and Mr Trump held talks on the margins of last week's G20 summit in Hamburg.

After the meeting, the president said he believed Britain and the US could strike a "very powerful" post-Brexit free trade deal "very, very quickly", and hailed the "very special relationship" he had developed with Mrs May.

Last week, the White House press secretary Sean Spicer scotched suggestions that Mr Trump could drop in on the UK this month.

British ministers were braced for a potential flying visit, believing the US leader may have had a window in his schedule to drop in on one of his golf courses in Scotland - in Aberdeenshire and Turnberry, Ayrshire - as he has several visits planned in Europe in July.

But Mr Spicer told the Financial Times: "While he looks forward to visiting the UK, it will not be in the next two weeks."

Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "It is hugely embarrassing for the Prime Minister that even a pariah like Donald Trump no longer wants to be seen with her.

"He has said he will give May a trade agreement, but she is now too weak to do the deal.

"She has lost Britain friends in Europe and now her blundering has damaged the so-called 'special relationship'.

"She was warned it was wrong to offer Trump a state visit but she did not listen. This just shows that her leadership is now about as stable as a chair with one leg."