UK prepares for Donald Trump’s state visit
The UK is just days away from Donald Trump’s second visit as US president within a year, with another huge security operation planned amid expected protests.
Mr Trump will lunch with the Queen, have breakfast with Theresa May and attend an event to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, during his three-day visit to Britain.
The state visit, beginning on Monday, follows his working visit to the UK last July.
Ahead of the June trip, Mr Trump praised Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, describing them as friends of his and hinting that he may meet them during the visit.
The remarks about Mrs May’s political rivals risk embarrassing the outgoing prime minister, as she prepares to step down from her post on June 7.
While the invite for a state visit was extended to Mr Trump just seven days into his presidency, it has taken a further 857 days for the trip to take place – a much longer period than previous American leaders Barack Obama and George W Bush had to wait between being invited and making the journey.
As with last year’s visit, protesters are planning to take to the streets to make clear their opposition to the US leader and his policies.
Scotland Yard said it has an experienced team ready to lead the huge police and security operation.
In 2018, almost 10,000 officers were deployed for Mr Trump’s trip, with nearly every force in the country providing staff to support the operation.
Protesters are again hoping to fly the phone-wielding, nappy-wearing inflatable blimp, which depicts the American leader as a baby, and a 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet is also expected to make an appearance.
Security has also been tightened for the UK’s national commemorations of the D-Day anniversary, which will be attended by international figures including the Queen and Mr Trump on Wednesday.
Members of the public will be prevented from watching the event, with a double-layered solid fence to be erected around Southsea Common in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Portsmouth Together Against Trump has said it will protest against the visit, telling the Portsmouth News it will do so in a respectful manner.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania will be officially welcomed to the UK on Monday by the Queen, and enjoy a private lunch, a visit to Westminster Abbey and later a state banquet in Buckingham Palace.
On Tuesday the president will start the day with a business breakfast meeting co-hosted by Mrs May at St James’ Palace, before talks with the prime minister at Downing Street.
Mr Trump will travel on to the Republic of Ireland following D-Day commemorations on Wednesday, basing himself at the hotel and golf resort he owns in Doonbeg in the west of the country.
During his visit he will hold a bilateral meeting with Irish premier Leo Varadkar at Shannon Airport.