Trump cancels UK embassy visit, blames Obama for 'bad deal' on building
London office move was actually approved by George W Bush
President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to open the US embassy in London, claiming the cost and location of the new building was a “bad deal”.
The president took to social media late on Thursday night to deflect suggestions that he did not want his visit overshadowed by mass protests.
He indulged in one of his favourite pastimes, attacking his predecessor Barack Obama, this time over the embassy's relocation.
"Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts,' only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO," he said.
However, the decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair to a new development at Nine Elms in Battersea was taken under the presidency of George W Bush in 2008 before Obama was elected.
Media reports said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would probably replace Trump for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May controversially invited Trump for a state visit when she became the first world leader to meet the president in the White House last year, bringing a howl of protests from activists and MPs, many of whom said they would deny him a chance to address parliament.
The embassy visit was seen as a way for Trump to make a lower profile appearance in the country to meet May and possibly Queen Elizabeth.
Relations between Trump and May soured significantly last year when May criticised Trump for redistributing social media material from the extremist group Britain First.
Trump, who takes criticism personally, hit back directly at May, telling her to focus her attentions on domestic terrorism.