White House to announce Donald Trump visit to UK 'soon'

The White House has said it will announce details "soon" of President Donald Trump's proposed visit to the UK, amid growing expectations that he will come to London in February to open the new US Embassy.

There was no confirmation from London or Washington of reports that Mr Trump told Theresa May his plans in a phone call on Tuesday evening.

Mrs May's offer of a state visit this year was put on hold amid fears of demonstrations against the US president, but there has been widespread speculation that he could open the embassy in Vauxhall on a more low-profile working visit, which would not involve a meeting with the Queen.

Neither Downing Street nor the White House made any mention of a discussion of a possible visit in their official accounts of Tuesday's phone call, which focused on their differences over Mr Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and their shared concern about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Asked whether the possibility of a visit to the UK had been discussed, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a Washington press conference: "That invitation has been extended and accepted. And we're working with them to finalise the details, which we expect to announce soon. And we'll keep you guys posted on that once that's finalised."

A spokesman for the US Embassy in London said any announcement would come from the White House.

US smbassador to the UK, Robert Wood Johnson, said he hoped Mr Trump would visit (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
US ambassador to the UK, Robert Wood Johnson, said he hoped Mr Trump would visit (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ambassador Woody Johnson, a close friend of Mr Trump who was appointed by the president earlier this year, last week came close to confirming plans for a visit when he was asked whether he expected a presidential visit for the embassy opening.

"Absolutely, I think he will come, I hope he will come," Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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