UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered Donald Trump a state visit to London. But London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, is decidedly uninterested in an elaborate reception for a man who has denigrated him and his city.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is not inclined to grant a hero’s welcome to his city to Donald Trump.
At the recent G-20 summit in Hamburg, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May offered Trump a state visit — which was originally intended to happen sooner, but has been delayed until an as-yet-undetermined date in 2018.
A state visit is generally an elaborate affair, including a banquet with the queen.
But Khan made it clear he doesn’t think Trump has earned such an honor.
In an interview with CNN, Khan noted that, “At a time when the president of the USA has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet.”
But Khan also declared that he would meet with Trump if the opportunity arose, stating a particular desire to use his position to rebut some of Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry.
“If you somehow think it is not possible to be a Muslim and a proud westerner I am happy to disabuse you of that idea, whether you are a reporter for CNN or Donald Trump,” Khan stated.
His view of Trump is informed not simply by conventional wisdom on Trump’s prejudice and xenophobia, but by specific barrage of angry tweets against Khan himself, following a terror attack on the London Bridge.
At the time, Khan easily dismissed Trump’s tantrum, stating that he had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet,” which had taken Khan’s statement following the attack grossly out of context.
Khan is not alone in his stance on Trump’s visit. Earlier this year, over 1.8 million people signed a petition to the British government, asking for the potential state visit to be “canceled or downgraded.”
The petition was rejected, but there is still strong enough anti-Trump sentiment in the UK that the White House has expressed concerns about the massive protests that may occur during his visit — something no red carpet could possibly obscure.