Donald Trump says he will not travel to London to open new US embassy


US president Donald Trump has confirmed he will not travel to the UK to open the new American embassy.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Trump said he thought the embassy's move from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms, south London, was a "bad deal".

He wrote: "Reason I cancelled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for "peanuts," only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars.

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

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The embassy was housed at Grosvenor Square (Matthew Fearn/PA)

The United States announced plans to move from its current embassy building in Mayfair in 2008 and the new building will open on January 16.

On the embassy web page about the project, it said: "The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds."

New US Embassy in London
The new US embassy will open next week (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Mr Trump's decision not to come to the country comes despite Prime Minister Theresa May saying that a future visit was still on the cards last week.

Mrs May controversially extended the offer of a state visit when she became the first world leader to meet Mr Trump in the White House following his inauguration last year.

Since then, however, the president has indicated he does not want to take up the invitation if he is going to face mass demonstrations.

New US Embassy in London
Robert Wood Johnson is the US Ambassador to the UK (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Last month, the White House said it would announce details "soon" of Mr Trump's proposed visit to the UK.

Mrs May and Mr Trump fell out spectacularly in November over his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted online by the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group, Jayda Fransen.

At the time, the PM said Mr Trump was "wrong" to retweet the videos, and the US president hit back at Mrs May on Twitter by telling her to focus on "destructive radical Islamic terrorism" in the UK, rather than on him.