US President Donald Trump once again courted controversy on Monday when he called Pakistani-origin London Mayor Sadiq Khan “nasty” and “stone cold loser”. Trump landed in London on Monday with his wife Melanie for a three-day state visit which is hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. George W Bush and Barack Obama are the only other US presidents to be given a state visit. State visits differ from official visits and are normally at the invitation of the Queen, who acts on advice from the government.
Trump will meet members of the Royal Family, and is expected to discuss climate change and Chinese technology firm Huawei during his talks with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.
But just moments before his Air Force One touched down at Stansted Airport, the US President took to Twitter in his characteristic style to attack London Mayor Khan with whom he has clashed in the past, terming him “nasty” and a “stone cold loser”.
“Sadiq Khan who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me,” he said. Trump compared the 48-year-old Khan with New York Mayor de Blasio as having done an equally “terrible job”.
It is remarkable that Khan recently branded Trump a fascist and divisive figure who should not be accorded the pomp and ceremony associated with a UK state visit. Protests are planned across the UK during the visit, including in London, Manchester, Belfast and Birmingham and a giant balloon depicting Trump as a baby is to take to the skies once again over London, in a repeat of his last UK visit in 2018.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable are all boycotting the state banquet.