US President Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of the new US embassy here, describing the south London location as “lousy” and “horrible”, three months after the mission was thrown open to public.
In January, Trump cancelled a “working visit” to the UK planned to officially launch the new US embassy in Vauxhall, blaming a “bad deal” struck by the previous Obama-administration to relocate the base from central London to an “off location”.
He had criticised the decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square in the posh Mayfair area of the city to Nine Elms, south of the Thames, in a USD 1.2 billion project.
The President described the south London location as “lousy” and “horrible”, BBC said in a report.
Trump is scheduled to visit the UK in July.
Speaking at a rally in Michigan, the president said: “In the UK, in London, we had the best site in all of London. The best site.
“Well, some genius said: ‘We’re gonna sell the site and then we’re going to take the money and build a new embassy'”.
“That sounds good right, but you’ve got to have money left over if you do that, right? By the way, they wanted me to cut the ribbon on the embassy (in January) and I said: ‘I’m not going. I don’t wanna do it'”, BBC quoted Trump as saying.
The building on the Mayfair site was never owned outright by the United States. It owned a 999-year leasehold, but the freehold is owned by Grosvenor Estates, the report said.
The new embassy in Vauxhall was opened on January 16. It cost $ 1 billion (730 million pound) and holds 800 members of staff.
Trump said he thought – but would have to check – that officials sold the previous site for $250 million (181 million pounds), the report added.