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Trump got the message that he's not welcomed: London Mayor

13 January 2018

Upon hearing the news that Donald Trump would not be opening the United States embassy in London next month, waxwork museum Madame Tussauds stepped in to provide an alternative.

There had been speculation that the trip would be merged with a planned state visit to Britain offered to Trump by Prime Minister Theresa May.

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" the US president added. The move, which ended a 200-year USA association with London's Grosvenor Square, was part of American efforts to secure diplomatic staff in compounds - a push tied to terror concerns after al-Qaida bombings at two US embassies in East Africa a decade ago.

The decision to acquire a new London embassy site on the south bank of the Thames was announced in 2008 under George W. Bush along with the plans to put the old Grosvenor Square site in upscale Mayfair up for sale.

But Trump's late-night tweet singled out problems with the handling of the embassy.

In a BBC interview on Sunday, May insisted that Trump "will be coming to this country" in spite of the opposition.

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Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda.

"His visit next month would, without doubt, have been met by mass peaceful protests", the mayor added.

However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - who has clashed with the president in the past - said the U.S. president had "got the message" that many Londoners were staunchly opposed to his policies and actions. "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".

"No date was confirmed for any visit, the one you are referring to now".

The "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the USA "will endure" despite Mr Trump's cancellation, a spokesman added.

May condemned it, and Trump hit back that she should focus on terrorism in Britain, which suffered five attacks a year ago.

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The current ambassador, Robert "Woody" Johnson, said the change was necessary even though the USA had been linked to Grosvenor Square for more than 200 years.

Asked about the PM's views on south London after the president described the embassy's new site as an "off location", the spokesman said: "I think Vauxhall is a vibrant and important part of London and home to many businesses".

The area became known as "Little America" at the time.

"A multi-disciplinary team of professionals considered over 170 criteria, to include physical security requirements, and determined that the Nine Elms site was the best overall location for the USA government", the statement added. It will be open for business on January 16.

In Trump's absence, the Madame Tussauds museum installed the president's waxwork outside the new embassy, causing construction workers to crowd round and pose for selfies.

Many politicians in the United Kingdom said the real reason for the cancellation was to avoid the growing number of anti-Trump protests planned for the president's visit.

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Trump got the message that he's not welcomed: London Mayor